November 24, 2014
We all know we need to get enough sleep every night, yet so many of us still fail to get it. Whether it’s increasingly busy daily schedules, not getting to sleep at a reasonable hour or having to wake up early the next day, we all have our reasons, but they all lead to the same problem. The fact is, without enough sleep, you won’t be able to function in your day in the best way possible. That’s why we at CAM want you to know: the importance of adequate sleep every night cannot be overstated.
Sleep plays an essential role in good overall health and wellbeing, and getting enough of it will help protect your mental and physical health and improve quality of life. The list of health benefits that good sleep habits provide is incredibly large and still growing, but what follows are some of sleep’s most vital roles.
The brain requires sleep to work properly. It’s during this time that new pathways are formed and strengthened based on the information acquired during the day, which helps improve your ability to learn and form new memories in a process called consolidation. This allows for sharper memory, increased attention and more creativity the following day, all of which improve performance at school or work.
The positive physical effects of sufficient sleep are also numerous and varied. Studies have shown it helps with maintaining a healthy weight and reduces obesity, supports growth and development through hormones released during deep sleep, and reduces inflammation that may lead to a number of other health complications like heart disease, stroke, arthritis and premature aging. Some research has even tied good sleeping habits to a longer lifespan, and the list of benefits goes on.
Adequate sleep is clearly essential for healthy living, but how do you go about getting the recommended 7-8 hours? Here are some tips to help you snooze longer:
- Spend a lot of time outdoors every day and exercise regularly
- Make your bedroom a sanctuary and keep it cool, quiet and dark, and sleep on a mattress that’s not worn out and comfortable for you
- Make sure your final hour before bed is relaxing and free of too much stimulation; avoid bright screens, which can confuse the brain
- Try to go to bed and wake up around the same time every night; on weekends, try to stick to this and only allow about a one-hour difference
- Avoid nicotine and caffeine, which are stimulants that can mess with sleep
- Avoid big meals a few hours before and alcohol right before bedtime
- If needed, squeeze in a nap during the day, but try to keep it to 20-30 minutes and only take them in the early afternoon
No matter how you look at it, getting enough sleep helps us to be more productive and feel better every day, and without it, we’re not the best version of our selves can be. Don’t short on sleep and you’ll notice some big differences in the way you perform in daily life. For more information on how to improve sleeping habits or to schedule an appointment for any musculoskeletal pains visit CAM Physical Therapy and Wellness Services LLC, where physical therapists in Laurel, Hyattsville and Glenn Dale/Bowie, MD are ready to help you out. Call 301-853-0093 to schedule an appointment or click here for more information.