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Good sleep = better health

An entire industry has developed around sleep. Sleep affects your mind, body and emotional well being. It is the most important thing you can do to maintain good health . . .  so it is worth some study.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it depends on your age. Teenagers need 8–10 hours per 24 hours, adults could get by with 7 hours or need up to 9 hours of quality sleep per 24 hours.

These numbers assume good quality sleep, but that doesn’t happen for most of us. After a truly good night’s sleep, you should feel alert shortly after waking up and your mood should be positive. Is that happening for you?

The health negatives of not getting enough sleep are serious. Research has found risk associations between short sleep and hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and dementia. Sleeping less than six hours a night is associated with a 20% higher chance of heart attack. Key sleep disorders include insomnia, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea.

Here’s what you can do to improve your sleep: read this excellent article by Eric Barker.
Key points:
A consistent sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night. Wake up at the same time . . .every day.
Substances not to take less than 3 hours before bedtime: alcohol, caffeine, any food , . .and a caution about sleeping pills.
All light is bad. Blue light is worse.
4. Keep your bedroom nice and cool, preferably around sixty-five degrees Fahrenheit. For super sleep, take a hot bath before bed.
5. Naps can increase alertness and performance on the job, enhance learning ability and purge negative emotions while enhancing positive ones.

I hope you read Eric’s entire article. It’s very informative and entertaining.

One thing Victoria and I stress is relaxation when you go to bed. We practice deep breathing. Whatever works for you, do it. Try to relax your body and your mind when you get into bed and you may find sleep comes more easily.
Please let me know how you’re doing with sleep. I’d love to hear from you.

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