We all know getting a good night’s rest is crucial for your health and well-being. But do you ever wonder why? Below is an explanation of why sleep is important and what can happen if you don’t get enough.
The Benefit of Sleep
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC), adults between the ages of 18 to 60 should get seven or more hours of sleep each night. Sleep has a number of benefits, including:
- Improving your memory
- Cleansing your body of inflammation
- Increasing creativity
- Improving your focus
- Helping maintain your weight
- Making you a happier person
Getting enough sleep improves your overall quality of life.
The Downside to Sleep Deprivation
Your body repairs itself while you sleep. When this doesn’t happen, you will start to notice illnesses like colds or the flu take longer to resolve than usual. You also put yourself at risk for cardiovascular disease, since your blood vessels don’t have an opportunity to heal.
Lack of sleep causes your body to release insulin, increasing your chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Your need to eat will increase, making it harder to maintain a healthy weight. Your ability to make decisions will become impaired and your mood will spiral. This can lead you to lose interest in activities, relationships and even people you once enjoyed.
How to Improve Your Sleep
In order to get a restful night’s sleep, you will first need to figure out what is preventing you from doing so. Common causes of poor sleep include:
- Sleep disorders
If you cannot figure out what is preventing you for getting enough sleep, try keeping a journal. This will help you notice patterns so you can work on fixing the problem.
Yoga and meditation can help you unwind after a long day and destress before bed.
Unwanted light and sounds can wake you up or prevent you from falling asleep. Blackout curtains can keep the sun from coming in through the window. A sleep sound machine can drown out any unwanted noises.
Create a Comfortable Environment
Increasing your comfort through a new mattress, blankets or pillows can help you fall asleep and stay asleep. A weighted blanket can offer an additional feeling of security.
Diagnose a Sleep Disorder
If you cannot identify the cause of your poor sleep, talk to your doctor. They will review your concerns and order an at-home sleep study if necessary. Once a disorder has been diagnosed, they will create an individualized treatment plan to help you sleep better.
To learn about the importance of sleep, contact the experts at Albany ENT & Allergy Services.