The Need for Sleep

Sleep is a vital component of your health.

Lack of quality sleep can lead to detriment in many ways. To live your best life, get 7-9 hours every night. You’ll be glad you did!

Sleep helps balance your hormones. If you don’t get sufficient sleep, your levels of ghrelin (hunger) goes up and your leptin levels (satiated) go down. This imbalance of hormones makes you more hungry than when you have optimum levels of sleep. This also increases the risk of obesity from sleep deprivation.

Sleep deficiency results in higher than normal blood sugar levels which may increase diabetes risk.

Sleep is the time when your body repairs itself. It allows the body to repair your blood vessels and heart. For those who exercise, sleep allows your body to repair and regenerate muscle tissue that you have torn down during workouts. This makes you able to come back stronger the next time you workout. Insufficient sleep can cause overtraining. This effect is cumulative. If your body is unable to repair itself sufficiently during rest, your training will suffer. Injuries are also much more likely to occur.

Accumulated sleep deficiency is linked to increases in stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease.

Sleep is important to your immune system. During rest is the body’s time to fight harmful or foreign substances. Accumulated sleep deficiency can cause a suppressed immune system leading to problems combating common illnesses such as the cold and flu as well as more serious things like pneumonia.

Lack of sleep can lead to depression, anger problems and irritability. Sleep is the brain’s time to prepare for the following day. When insufficient, it is unable to form new pathways which help you learn and even remember information. This can contribute to memory problems, decision making problems, problem solving, issues controlling emotions and behavior and coping with change.

Sleep deficiency carries over into daytime. Lack of sleep can lead to impaired driving, increased human errors at the workplace which has led to tragic accidents at nuclear reactors, aviation accidents and grounding of ships.

To be your best, your body needs time to heal and rest. To get a good night’s sleep, the following can help…

  1. Do not watch tv or look at computer screens or cell phones for one hour prior to bedtime.
  2. Do not consume caffeine after 2pm.
  3. Avoid over consumption of alcohol.
  4. Sleep in a room that’s a little chilly (65-67 degrees).
  5. Exercise; it does wonders for sleep.
  6. Take a melatonin supplement (3mg).
  7. Drink a cup of Tulsi (Holy Basil) tea. It’s very relaxing and reduces cortisol (stress) levels in the body that can keep you awake at night.
  8. Sleep in a room that is dark.
  9. Try lavender. A few drops on your pillowcase is relaxing and smells amazing!

If you do all of the above and still can’t sleep, come into one of our four convenient locations and see one of our awesome doctors! In and Out Express Care’s About You and we’re here when you need us!

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