Very informative guest post today…
No matter how busy your life can get, it is important to set aside enough time to sleep. Sacrificing sleep is the first thing that comes to mind when you are rushed to meet an urgent deadline.
However, many studies show that skipping sleep brings comes with dangers to your overall health and well-being. Sleep is as important as anything else you do during the day.
Many people would often overlook the possible long-term adverse effects of sleep deprivation. These negative effects may also go unnoticed. Yet, not getting enough sleep puts you at a higher risk of exposure to multiple health issues, including:
- Cardiovascular disease and hypertension – a study published in National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) suggests that those who get only six to seven hours of sleep nightly have a greater risk of suffering from coronary artery calcification, a precursor to myocardial infarction or heart attack.
- Obesity – several studies has shown that those who lack sleep are prone to obesity, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Participants who slept fewer than six hours each night regularly were found to have excess body weight unlike those who slept an average of eight hours per night.
- Diabetes – research has shown that people who slept fewer than five hours per night had an increased chance of developing type 2 diabetes, per a study published in DiabetesJournals.org. On the other hand, studies have also revealed that improved sleep can reduce the effects of type 2 diabetes and has a positive impact on blood sugar regulation.
- Weakened immune system – there are many well-documented research papers that support the age-old belief that lack of sleep significantly increases vulnerability of people to infectious diseases, per a study found in National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
- Common cold – another study published in JAMA Internal Medicine shows that those who sleep fewer than seven hours of sleep per night are three times more likely to have cold symptoms compared to those who slept an average of eight hours each night regularly even after being exposed to the cold-causing virus.
- Other problems such as memory lapses, depression, skin aging, etc.
Medical experts have begun to recognize the high correlation between illnesses and lack of sleep. They conclude that getting adequate quality sleep is as essential to a person’s overall health as regular exercise and proper diet. Further studies suggest that sleeping fewer than eight hours per night regularly can increase the risk of contracting various illnesses.
Adopt healthy sleeping habits
Fortunately, many minor sleep issues can be resolved and experts have plenty of suggestions to help everyone attain sufficient sleep. A few recommendations are listed below.
- Moderate your intake of caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and other substances that interfere with sleep.
- Sleep on the right bed. The key to better sleep is a comfortable and supportive mattress.
- Maintain a daily sleep-wake schedule. This will help keep your circadian rhythm in proper condition.
- Be physically active. Exercising regularly can improve the quality of your sleep. However, avoid working out too close to bed time.
- Eat foods that can induce sleep such as almonds, bananas, cheese, oatmeal, jasmine rice, whole grains, fortified cereals, and the like. These foods contain nutrients and substances that induce melatonin production and help produce tryptophan.
- Establish a relaxing pre-bedtime routine. You should also refrain from using all your electronic devices like your smartphone, tablet, laptop, television, etc.
- Use calming music. People that listen to soothing music for 45 minutes before bedtime spent more time in REM sleep, according to research found in the International Journal of Nursing Studies.
- Limit your exposure to light when it’s time for you to sleep. A dark and quiet sleeping environment promotes the production of melatonin.
- Avoid taking a nap close to bedtime. Also, you should go to sleep if you really feel tired. Refrain from watching the clock as this will only bring you stress.
- Check your room temperature. The ideal bedroom temperature should be at 68 degrees to get a better night’s sleep.
How about you? Are you having a difficult time getting restful sleep? What are you doing to sleep well? Sound off in the comments below.
Ethan Wright is a health enthusiast who believes every great day begins with a good night sleep. He is currently a researcher and writer for Bedding Stock, an online retailer of gel memory foam mattress in the USA. When not wearing his writing hat, you will see him traveling to places with his journal.