Sleeping is a key component for overall good health and is especially true when we have a muscle injury or joint injury or during times of stress, when we have a cold, the flu or any other aliment. Sleeping allows your body to heal, mind and body. Current guidelines are 7-9 hours for the average adult. Benefits of sleep include:
- Better Body Weight Management: Poor sleep habits have been strongly linked to obesity. Those who get an adequate amount of sleep tend to weigh less and be more likely to exercise during the day and eat fewer calories throughout the day. Sleep deprivation will mess with one’s appetite hormones increasing the stimulation for eating.
- Increased Concentration, Productivity, Reaction Time, Accuracy and Performance: When you get a good night’s sleep one is able to perform higher task functions during the next day. Poor sleep habits can lead to people feeling like they are less coordinated, sleepy, unable to concentrate and even feel like they are drunk from too much alcohol consumption. Walking speeds can decrease and someone may be more likely to loose their balance and fall when sleep deprived.
- Improved Heart Health: Poor sleepers have an increased risk for heart attacks and strokes and an increased risk in the flare up of all chronic diseases. Poor sleep can also effect glucose metabolism and increase one’s risk for Type 2 Diabetes.
- Improved Mental Health: Poor sleep habits have been linked to increased feelings of depression. A good night’s sleep can make a huge difference in decreasing one’s level of anxiety. It can also improve one’s social interactions with others during the day which will increase one’s feelings of well -being.
- Improved Immune Function: Poor sleep has been linked to an increased risk for catching the cold or the flu. If you want to fight off a virus, start with getting a good night sleep.
- Decrease inflammation within the body: Poor sleep has been known to activate inflammation within the body and increase cell damage and can negatively affect your organs in the body.
Looking into one’s own needs and being honest with oneself, ask the questions, how do I feel after I’ve gotten 7 hours sleep, 8 or 9. How do I feel if I only get 4 hours? How does sleeping support you personally? I invite you to take the time to explore what truly supports you, starting with sleeping.