Importance of Sleep for Our Day-to-Day Function
With the fast-paced life most Americans lead, a good night’s sleep
is becoming a luxury. While we already know the sluggish feeling and difficulty
in carrying out important tasks due to lack of sleep, many individuals
still willingly delay sleep thinking that sleep deprivation has no other
adverse effects to our health. This March, as we celebrate National Sleep
Awareness Month, let us aim to reward ourselves with at least seven to
eight hours of sleep and experience the many benefits of a good night’s
sleep to our overall health.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep is as important as diet
and exercise. When you deprive yourself of sleep, you also deprive your
body the chance to recover after spending all that energy for several
hours. Sleep heals damaged cells, boosts your immune system, and recharges
your heart and cardiovascular system for the next day.
Below are some of the negative effects of sleep deprivation:
- Increases risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes
- Contributes to symptoms of depression
- Makes you look older due to the increased release of the stress hormone cortisol
- Makes you forgetful
- Increases your risk of obesity
- Lowers sex drive
Tips for Improving Your Sleep
While many individuals can fall asleep as soon as their heads hit the bed,
there are others who spend a good amount of time during the night tossing,
turning, and feeling frustrated because of not being able to fall asleep.
Check out some of our helpful tips below to help you improve your sleep:
- Be consistent with your sleep schedule to prevent disrupting your sleep-wake cycle
- Create a bedtime ritual that consists of relaxing activities such as a
warm bath or shower
- Avoid screen time as part of your bedtime ritual, stick to reading books
or listening to music
- Make sure that your room is ideal for sleeping
- Include exercise in your daily routine to help you fall asleep faster
- Manage stress to help quiet your mind when it is already time to sleep
- Be mindful of what you eat or drink before bed. Avoid heavy meals and caffeinated drinks.
This National Sleep Awareness Month, you deserve a deep, long sleep for
your overall health. If after following these tips, you are still having
a hard time falling asleep and this is becoming a consistent problem,
you may want to visit your doctor to help you with treatments for your
This article contains general information about medical conditions and
treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as
such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis
of a physician.
If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should
consult your doctor or other professional healthcare providers.