There was a time sleep was determined by sun cycles. We awoke at sunrise and went to bed shortly after sunset. Candles extended evenings a bit for a few remaining household activities, family time and reading. The electric light altered sleep patterns forever. It became possible to stay up all night. Technology—televisions, computers and smartphones—have drastically changed sleep even more so. We’re compelled to “check in on what’s happening.” But technology’s impact on sleep goes deeper: the blue light emitted by cell phone screens, computers, TVs, etc. all restrain the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls our sleep/wake cycle or circadian rhythm. Reducing melatonin makes it harder to fall and stay asleep.

Benefits of a good sleep are well documented. Research shows seven to eight consecutive hours of restful sleep are crucial for life quality as we age. Besides keeping under-eye circles away, sleep makes us feel better. If memory is slipping, sleep may be missing. Sleep keeps our memory cells firing. Too little and too much sleep can shorten lifespan. Why? Bodies need recovery time for digestion, memory-filing and “housekeeping.” Lack of rest causes waste buildup, illness and accidents. Tired people shouldn’t operate machinery—including cars. Diabetes, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, heart disease and stroke have many causes, but inflammation is at the root. Cells inflame and begin malfunctioning when they are unable to clean out toxic waste from normal life processes, foods, drink, stress and the environment.

Creativity juices and emotional stability are positively impacted by adequate sleep, as are all aspects of physical performance, attention, learning, impulsiveness, stress, likelihood of depression and weight gains. Making seven to eight hours of sleep a priority, as often as possible during normal nighttime hours, is a must for our health and longevity.

This is Silver Disobedience® philosophy. I’m @DianGriesel aka @SilverDisobedience A Perception Analyst who shares my Daily Meditations for other Ageless, Passionate & Curious People.