Consistent sleep is vital for good health and general well-being throughout our lives. Sleep, or lack thereof, can also affect our mental, physical, and emotional health as well as our overall quality of life.
Most of us have experienced the awful feeling of waking up after a night of sleep deficiency: however, exhaustion is often the least of our worries. Lack of sleep, even one night’s worth, can make it more difficult to make decisions, solve problems, control behavior and emotions, and cope with change.
When you’re asleep, your brain is preparing the rest of your body for the day that follows. Sleep is restorative, and helps our brains work properly and form connections to help us learn and remember information. It also helps with better decision-making, creativity, and attention.
Sleeplessness can also affect reaction time. In 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that being tired accounted for the highest number of fatalities from single-car, run-off-the-road crashes due to drivers’ performance—even more than intoxication.
Sleep also heavily affects physical health. Ongoing lack of sleep has been linked to obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and heart and kidney disease. A good night’s sleep can also reduce stress, which is linked to better cardiovascular health, and help to prevent anxiety and depression.
Above all, as much as possible, it’s very important to work to develop a consistent, healthy sleep habits. First, look at your sleep hygiene: avoid alcohol, caffeine, and heavy meals at least 3 hours prior to bedtime. Exercise should be completed roughly five to six hours before bedtime, and a hot shower or bath thirty minutes before bed can also help you fall asleep. Reserve your bed for sleeping and sex, cut off screens an hour before bed, and do your best to go to sleep and wake up at the same time (within a half hour) every day.
For more information on sleep health or to schedule a consultation, call Marvel at 1-931-455-200.