Sleep is crucial to our physical and mental health.
You may well have heard it’s just as important as diet and exercise – and it is! This article will offer a deep dive into the importance of a good night’s rest.
HOW MUCH SLEEP DO YOU NEED?
While our exact needs may vary, experts recommend that most adults get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. People who consistently get under six hours of sleep are at a higher risk of various health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and cognitive challenges.
In addition, lack of sleep will make a person more prone to weight gain and stress. However, just as quantity is important, sleep quality is too. This means, however, just as quantity is important, sleep quality is too. This means you’ll want to not only get enough sleep but restful sleep.
Adequate rest will help the body thrive by strengthening the immune system and regulating the appetite. And the benefits of quality sleep don’t end there. We’ll explore a number of others in the next section.
THE BENEFITS OF SOUND SLEEP
If you haven’t been prioritizing sleep in your life, you’ll want to reconsider.
Sleep allows your mind and body to recover from the day’s stressors. In the rapid eye movement (REM) stage, the brain processes important information and oversees long-term memory. This brings a great deal of mental focus.
Additional benefits include:
- Higher productivity
- Better weight management
- Sharper concentration
- Reduced depression and anxiety
- Lower inflammation
A 2010 study revealed that C-reactive protein- which is linked to inflammation and heart problems-was much lower in those who got over six hours of sleep per night.
STRATEGIES FOR BETTER SLEEP
How can you work toward better sleep?
It isn’t always as simple as going to bed earlier. Though keeping a regular sleep schedule can help, and making sure you’re giving yourself enough time to rest is crucial, there are many other tips that can help put you on the right track. These include:
Avoiding alcohol and caffeine late in the day.
Though alcohol may not interfere with falling asleep, it’s known to hinder sleep quality. And since caffeine is a stimulant, it should be avoided after noon.
Keeping your electronics outside the bedroom.
Blue light from smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other devices can get in the way of sound sleep. At least overnight, consider storing these items in another room for the best results.
Cultivating a restful sleep environment.
You don’t need to go overboard here, but a cool, dark space (and some comfortable bedding) can go a long way where sound sleep is concerned.
If you’ve tried these strategies, and you’re still struggling to get enough sleep, there may be other issues at play. Our expert team at Colin Chan, M.D. & Associates can help pinpoint what’s going on.
Do you have questions about the importance of sound sleep? Please contact us for more information on how you can maintain good health with Dr. Colin Chan by your side. We look forward to hearing from you.