The Importance of Sleep
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The Importance of Sleep

      We frequently explain the importance of sleep, to our volunteers, before any mission.  With the arduous amounts of work expected to be performed during a medical mission, rest and a good night sleep will compliment their desire to help their fellow man.  We coined the phrase: "If you aren't working, you should be resting, napping or sleeping."
    The National Sleep Foundation(NSF) writes: "In general, most healthy adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night.  However, some individuals can function adequately after as little as six hours of sleep.  While others can’t perform at their peak unless they’ve slept ten hours.
     In fact, sleep is just as important as diet and exercise writes the NSF.  Individuals that work "swing shifts," according to the International Classifications of Sleep Disorders, are at increased risk for a variety of chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases.       Furthermore, they believe that the body never adjusts to "shift work".   Many students also wonder about the importance of sleep during the academic year.  They ask if sleep plays such a big part in their formative years, then why are they subjected to 7 or 8am classes?

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