While we should all be getting eight hours of sleep a night, factors like stress or a busy lifestyle prevent many from reaching that goal. When trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, getting enough sleep is just as important as eating right and exercising.
Why Is Sleep Important for a Healthy lifestyle?
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adults ages 18 to 60 get seven or more hours of sleep per night
Getting enough sleep helps you perform better by improving memory, making it easier to focus, controlling your weight, increasing creativity and making you a happier person. Sleep also cleanses the body of harmful inflammation.
What Are the Negative Effects of Poor Sleep?
Not getting the recommended seven hours of sleep can prevent your body from repairing itself. This means colds and other illnesses may take longer to resolve. Your blood vessels don’t heal, which increases your risk of cardiovascular disease.
When you don’t sleep, your body begins to release insulin, which increases your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. You may begin to eat more, which can lead to weight gain. Your ability to make decisions will be impaired. Your mood will spiral, and you can begin to lose interest in people, relationships and activities that you once enjoyed.
Factors Preventing a Good Night’s Sleep
Determining what is preventing you from getting enough sleep is the first step in improving your sleep habits. Factors include:
- Snoring or other sleep disorders
How to Improve Your Sleep
Once you determine what is causing your poor sleep, you can do something to fix it.
Simple lifestyle adjustments such as avoiding stimulants, exercising regularly and establishing a healthier bedtime routine can help you enjoy more restful nights.
Stress can keep you from both falling asleep and having a restful night. Stretching and yoga can help you manage the accumulated stress of your day and release tension. Meditating before bed can also help, especially if your mind is racing before bedtime.
Create a Restful Environment
Try transforming your bedroom into a restful environment. A sleep sound machine will put you in the proper mood for sleep. Blackout curtains can keep you from waking up with the sun.
Earplugs and an eye mask can help create a more restful night’s sleep by blocking out unwanted light and sound.
While many can correct their sleep issues by implementing lifestyle changes, those with undiagnosed sleep disorders require medical interventions. Contact your doctor at Oregon Ear, Nose & Throat Center to learn more.