[SLEEP IS HEALTHY] -- 3 min read
Welcome to the “From the Fight” Blog. Over the past couple of weeks, we have been doing a series called [BE HEALTHY] where we have explored what it means to be healthy in society. Today, we will be discussing the importance of sleep.
Sleep is a very important part of being healthy. Making sure you have adequate amounts of sleep ensures that you function at a high level throughout the day and gives you more energy. Those are just a couple of the many benefits sleep has on our health. Let’s look at why sleep is important to everyone!
Why sleep is important?
Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety. According to the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute, “Sleep helps your brain work properly.” Some studies have shown that sleep deficiency can change some parts of the brain. “If you're sleep deficient, you may have trouble making decisions, solving problems, controlling your emotions and behavior, and coping with change. Sleep deficiency also has been linked to depression, suicide, and risk-taking behavior.” (NHBLI) Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. “Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.” (NHBLI)
Benefits of Sleep:
-may help you live longer
-higher capacity for learning
-helps maintain a healthy weight
-be more alert
-steer clear of depression
And these are just some of the benefits of having a good night’s sleep.
How much sleep is enough?
The amount of sleep an adult needs varies from person to person but the general guide line is 7-8 hours a day (or should I say night).
When we don’t get enough sleep, we create what is called a sleep debt. Some people consolidate their sleep debt by taking naps or sleeping in on their off days. While this might make the person feel better, it could interrupt your sleep-wake rhythm.
Some people are getting the recommended hours of sleep, but they are not feeling well-rested. If this is the case, they might have a sleep disorder or other health problem and need to discuss it further with their doctor.
People that could be at risk for Sleep disorders:
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, “Certain medical conditions have been linked to sleep disorders. These conditions include heart failure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke or transient ischemic attack (mini-stroke), depression, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).”
Tips for getting better sleep:
-turn off/stop looking at electronics at least 1 hour before bed.
-get blue light blockers (can be bought on amazon for under $10) and start wearing them when the sun goes down.
-have some caffeine free tea before bed. It is soothing and gets your body ready to go to sleep. We recommend chamomile tea. Also, diffusing lavender essential oils is very relaxing and promotes good sleep.
-read a book. If only for 30 minutes before bed, this will help your brain start to relax.
Those are a few suggestions that I have tried. They help me so they can most definitely help you too! Remember, our bodies need sleep and we function better when we have had a good night’s rest.
If you have any questions regarding sleep or anything else health related, send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
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Keep up the fight!
Source for article: “Why Is Sleep Important?” National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 7 June 2017, www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sdd/why.