The More We Can Sleep, The Healthier We Are

Mar 28, 2023 | Being Kind to Yourself

Sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and overall wellbeing. It is one of the pillars that we need for keeping a holistic approach to life, along with good nutrition and and regular exercise.

I know, I just did a blog last month about sleep, And, here I go again.

Well, I had my annual physical today, and my doctor reviewed my sleep patterns and reminded me why it is so important to my health. “Eating right, exercising and sleep – that is what is going to keep you healthy!” And, I couldn’t have agreed more.

We all know that sleep is a fundamental physiological process that plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health and wellbeing. Sleep is an ESSENTIAL component of a healthy lifestyle, along with a balanced diet and regular exercise. (See statement above by my doctor. I’m seriously so lucky that he doesn’t push meds but healthy living to for better lifestyle!)

Despite the importance of sleep, many people often neglect this aspect of their health, resulting in a wide range of negative health consequences. So many times, I hear “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”

Let’s explore why that isn’t the statement to live by. The Centers for Disease Control, as well as many sleep experts, all strongly suggest that as adults, we need between 7 to 9 hours of shut eye per night; teens need between 8 to 10 hours, and those younger need 10 to 12 hours per night.

If we aren’t getting the recommended hours of sleep per night, we are going to speed up to that “sleep when I’m dead” comment.  Why? Well, because the lack of sleep can do more damage to our bodies, shortening our lifespan, making that eternal nap arrive sooner than later…………

See, sleep helps with overall health, and it is so important to get enough sleep. Let’s look more into these points and share some tips for improving your sleep quality.

Why is Sleep Important?

Sleep helps with brain function

Sleep plays a critical role in cognitive function, memory consolidation, and emotional regulation. During sleep, the brain processes information learned during the day and consolidates it into long-term memory. This process is essential for learning and retaining new information.

Lack of sleep has been linked to cognitive impairments, such as difficulty with concentration, memory, and decision-making. Chronic sleep deprivation has also been associated with an increased risk of developing mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

Sleep promotes physical health

Sleep is vital for maintaining physical health. During sleep, the body repairs and regenerates tissues, strengthens the immune system, and balances hormone levels.

Sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk of developing chronic health conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension. Studies have shown that people who get less than six hours of sleep per night are more likely to develop these health conditions than those who get seven to eight hours of sleep.

Sleep improves athletic performance

Sleep is crucial for athletic performance, as it helps to restore and repair the body’s tissues after exercise. Getting enough sleep can improve physical performance, reduce the risk of injury, and increase muscle strength and endurance.

I tell this to my kids, my clients and the athletes I coach. Sleep is the best restorative thing you can do for your body. Love your body with rest and it will preform for you, with everything you have been training it for.

Sleep enhances mood and emotional wellbeing

Sleep plays a crucial role in emotional regulation and wellbeing. It can affect how we feel and interact with others. Getting enough sleep can help regulate mood, reduce stress, and improve overall emotional wellbeing.

Lack of sleep has been linked to mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety. Chronic sleep deprivation can also exacerbate existing mental health conditions, making them more difficult to manage.

Tips for improving sleep quality:

  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule and try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Even on weekends, stick to as close to your daily sleep schedule as possible. Venturing too far from that will take days to recover and get back on routine.
  • Create a sleep-conducive environment by keeping your bedroom cool, quiet, and dark.
  • Limit exposure to electronics before bedtime, as the blue light emitted by screens can disrupt sleep. This means powering off the electronics at least 30-60 minutes before we climb into bed.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine, especially before bedtime.
  • Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga, before bedtime to help calm your mind and promote relaxation. This is the time I love to do my Gratitude Journaling. Falling asleep to happy thoughts of the day make the quality of my sleep better.

Good quality sleep is essential for overall health and wellbeing. Sleep plays a critical role in brain function, physical health, athletic performance, and emotional regulation.

To improve your overall health, make sure you get enough sleep by following these tips and adopting healthy sleep habits. By prioritizing sleep, you can improve your quality of life and enjoy the many benefits that come with a good night’s rest.