Are you getting enough Sleep?

Are you getting enough sleep?

Getting enough sleep is essential to the proper functioning and healing of our bodies.  Good quality and quantity of sleep can help with memory, metabolism, mental health, cardiovascular health, athletic performance and most importantly immune function.  Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or who aren’t getting enough are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus.  Lack of proper night time rest can also affect how fast you recover, if you do get sick.

In other words, quality sleep is an essential requirement for your immune system to work properly.

While your body is at rest, your immune system is the most active, taking the opportunity to do any cleaning your body requires from the stresses it was exposed to during the day.

Specifically, during sleep, your immune cells release proteins called cytokines.  Some of these help promote more restful sleep, while others are needed to optimize how your body responds to any infection, or when you’re under stress.  Sleep disruption has been shown to reduce production of these protective cytokines.

Ideally, 6 to 8 hours of good quality sleep is the goal for an adult.  Infants, children and teens will require more.

Here’s some tips to help improve the quality of your sleep:
1. Eating earlier – trying to leave 3 hours between your last meal and bedtime.
2. Sticking to a consistent, early bedtime.
3. No screen-time at least 30 minutes before bed (1 hour is best).
4. Getting at least 30 minutes of outdoor activity each day.
5. Gentle, relaxed, easy stretching in bed.
6. Deep breathing, meditating or praying just before bed.

A good night’s sleep is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, positively impacting both physical and mental well-being. Prioritizing sleep is essential for maintaining good overall health and helps keep your body to function at its best every day.

References
https://www.uptodate.com/contents/insufficient-sleep-definition-epidemiology-and-adverse-outcomes
http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/brain_basics/understanding_sleep.htm.

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