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Embrace | Overcome | Create Your Life 

  • Terri K. Lankford, LPCS, NCC, LCAS

The Sleep Series : Why is Sleep So Important Anyhow?


The sometime elusive, restorative powerhouse we all need and some... ok most, of us love! Or love to hate, depending on how much of it you’re actually getting.

In the mental wellness world Sleep should be one of the top things your providers are asking you about!

In today’s sleep series, Let start by talking bout WHY sleep is SO important!

Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life.

Getting enough QUALITY sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, and quality of life.

According to the The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the way you feel while you're awake depends in part on what happens while you're sleeping.

Why is Sleep SO Important?

1. Your brain can work properly

This includes cognition, concentration, productivity and performance.

Studies also show If you're sleep deficient, you may have trouble making decisions, solving problems, controlling your emotions and behavior, and coping with change.

Sleep helps your brain work properly. While you're sleeping, your brain is preparing for the next day by forming new pathways to help you learn and remember information.

Studies show that a good night's sleep improves learning, helps you pay attention, make decisions, and be creative.

Another study found that short durations of sleep can negatively impact some aspects of brain function to a similar degree as alcohol intoxication. (Imagine that!)

2. Sleep is crucial to your body and immune system.

Sleep is involved in the healing and repair of your body -- your heart and blood vessels and your muscles, as well as your brain and gut. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.

Sleep supports healthy growth and development; we all need muscle recovery. Sleep helps repair cells and tissues.

Ever notice if you're sleep deficient, you may have trouble fighting common infections or have a cold frequenty? Ongoing sleep deficiency can change the way in which your immune system responds.

3. Lack of Sleep can make you Fat.

People with short sleep durations tend to weigh significantly more than those who get adequate sleep.

In fact, short sleep duration is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity

Sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of hormones that tell you when you’re hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin) and impacts how your body reacts to insulin (which impacts your blood sugar levels).

4. Sleep is crucial for Mental Wellness

Sleep deficiency also has been linked to depression, suicide, and risk-taking behavior.

Without it, we tend to have a difficult time getting along with others, increased feelings of agitation, anger, and impulsivity, have mood swings, feel sad or depressed, or lack motivation.


And here’s the thing:

The damage from sleep deficiency can occur in an instant (such as a car crash).

OR it can harm you over time. Ongoing sleep deficiency can raise your risk for some chronic health problems. It effects how well you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others.

So how do you know HOW MUCH sleep is right for you and WHEN is the best time to do it and HOW to get QUALITY sleep. Stick around.. we'll keep chatting all the things sleep!

In the meantime, you can pick up these great reads to learn more :




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Welcome to Embrace | Overcome | Create Your Life.


I’m Terri Kiser Lankford, owner of the Rise & Thrive Counseling Practice, a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor (in NC), and the host here at Rise & Thrive Counseling, PLLC and the Embrace| Overcome|CreateYourLife Blog.


I’m also an entrepreneur, Syltherin, foodie on a fitness journey, complete book nerd, photography novice who happens to think music is life. 


Warning! This site is about motivation, health & wellness, and self love.  but its also about various mental health issues and may talk about subjects such as suicide, self-harm and other touchy subjects at some point. This site is not intended for youth and may be “too much” to some.


Nothing on this site should be considered a medical recommendation. I am not a doctor. Anything of interest should be discussed with your doctor or therapist, or me (in person) if you are my current client.  No guarantee of accuracy is expressed or implied. (Sorry, I have to say that.)


All writing and mental health information here are accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time of publication. However, keep in mind my opinion, and available information, changes over time.

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