With our hectic schedules of juggling work, children, spouses and significant others, so on and so on… Many of us are not getting the sleep we need. Sleep is important when it comes to our physical health, performance and safety.
Getting adequate sleep helps the brain to function at its peak. There are medical studies that have demonstrated people who sleep well at night experience improvement in learning. It doesn’t matter what you’re trying to learn. It can be playing the flute, solving math equations, or driving a car, you’ll do well at it!
For all you creative folks, have you ever noticed how productive you are after a good night’s rest?
If you’re sleep deprived, studies have also shown you’ll tend to have difficulty with decision-making, solving problems, controlling your emotions, and coping with change. Ever notice how cranky you are when you don’t get enough sleep? I’m so guilty of this.
I always tell my patients sleep is like a battery. It recharges our bodies and helps with healing.
Many people nowadays are struggling with weight gain. Not getting enough sleep is associated with obesity. Sleep helps to maintain a healthy balance between the hormones ghrelin – which makes you feel hungry, and leptin – which makes you feel full. If you’re only getting four hours of sleep a night your ghrelin levels go up and leptin goes down, making for one hungry you. Being overweight/obese can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.
Performance and safety
When you’re well rested you’ll function better throughout the day. However, productivity doesn’t come easy, tasks are less likely to be completed, reaction time is slow, and mistakes are made when the body is sleep deprived.
Here’s one bit of information I did not know. If you were to have several nights where you’re not getting adequate sleep, your body could respond as if you haven’t slept for a couple days!
One of the most prevalent culprits of inadequate sleep is the drowsy driver. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute 100,000 car accidents each year and 1,500 deaths are a result of being in a sleep deprived state.
As a healthcare professional I recommend that you strive to get at least 6-7 hours of sleep each night. Believe me, I know for some of us this might seem impossible with our hectic schedules. I’m guilty of not always getting enough sleep. And I know better… One of my goals for 2017 is to get adequate rest. I’m working toward this goal by planning out my day, giving myself permission to put things off that can wait until the next day, and bring everything to a halt by 10:00 p.m. Especially during the work week.
If you’re having difficulty sleeping at night, I suggest that you go see your doctor or a doctor specializing in sleep medicine.
I hope this post was helpful. 🙂