Your body knows what it needs and it will tell you. If you don’t drink enough water, you feel thirsty. Without a restful night’s sleep, you feel tired and your mind is not as sharp the very next day, and potentially the following days. It’s surprising how common lack of sufficient sleep occurs in our society, since, while our bodies do not specifically crave kale or cross-fit, they do crave sleep.

There are countless distractions, such as work and television, that can be robbing you of much needed sleep. Our societal value of productivity is also keeping us out of bed. There are only 24 hours in the day and sleeping for a third of that time may seem “unproductive.” Imagine all we could do if we didn’t have to sleep? But our bodies need sleep, or it would have disappeared through the evolutionary process.

Professional athletes are known to rack up high numbers of sleep hours. Their bodies obviously need more recovery than the average person, but sufficient sleep is essential for all bodies. Among the theories for our need for sleep include memory consolidation (storing what you learn in your memory) and brain restoration (rest). With all the brain power we need to get through the day, sleep is essential. Without enough sleep, your immune system is reduced and you are at higher risk of metabolic conditions, such as obesity.

Ready for more sleep? First, determine how much sleep you are already getting. Walker Tracker offers an easy-to-use sleep tracking tool for our users. Some activity monitors can track sleep automatically, but any recording method is fine. Just keeping track of your sleep hours, similar to a food diary, will make you more aware of your sleep needs and may allow you to see connections between your sleep and your overall health and mood.