The Secret Ingredient to Good Health
Filed under: Stress Reduction
We all know that a balanced diet, exercise, and regular preventive care will help us to ward of disease and stay healthy. But there’s one more very important “ingredient” to good health, that many of us are missing: Sleep!
In fact, 25 percent of adults in the United States report insufficient sleep at least 15 out of 30 days. The results can range from a mild disruption (usually seen in occasional sleep loss) to serious health complications (as when you are chronically deprived of sleep). We need eight hours of sleep each night in order to:
- keep our immune systems healthy, and fight off infection
- perform well at work or school
- properly metabolize our food
As you already know, one or two sleepless nights can cause fatigue, irritability, and problems with concentration. Over the long term, though, chronic sleep deprivation can lead to more serious problems. Numerous studies have associated sleep disorders with health risks such as:
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
Additionally, healthy sleep habits are important to those who suffer from certain chronic disorders. Many conditions such as arthritis, depression, and auto-immune diseases can worsen during times of stress. Getting eight hours of sleep each night is one of the primary methods of reducing stress and keeping symptoms under control. It also keeps metabolic hormones balanced, helping to keep weight under control.
Sleep really does affect every area of our health. If you suspect you’re one of the millions of Americans who are chronically sleep deprived, take measures now to ensure that you can more (and better quality) sleep each night. Purchase a quality mattress and pillows, hang light-blocking and noise-reducing curtains, try a white noise machine or earplugs, and go to bed at the same time each night.
Also, since the light from TV and smartphone screens disrupts brainwaves that signal sleep, stay away from screens for an hour or two before bed time.
After a few weeks of regular sleep, you will be surprised at how much better you feel! Maintain healthy sleep habits over the long term, and you can prevent (or at least lessen the symptoms of) many common health conditions.
I have a lot more information about getting good sleep including a natural sleep secret called iRest that is helping people get the kind of sleep most only dream of (no pun intended). Get a message to me and I send you the info about iRest.