Getting Enough Sleep

Back to Basics - Getting Enough Sleep

We are always on the lookout for ways to improve our health and diet, exercise and stress management are the go to things to address. Many of us ignore our sleep, but studies show that poor sleep is a major contributing factor to poor health and quality of life.

You know how much better you feel after a good night's sleep right!!! Well did you know that at least 45% of us don't get the recommended 7-9 hours each night and most report not waking up refreshed, with at least 25% having ongoing sleep problems.

Poor sleep is a major cause of loss of productivity, and increase the risk of accidents and illness such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and mental health issues.

Two of the most common sleeping problems are insomnia and sleep apnoea. Insomnia is a condition where you have trouble sleeping or staying asleep for long enough. Sleep apnoea is a condition where you actually stop breathing many times whilst you are asleep due to some kind of obstruction.

If you think you may have sleep problems, getting a health check up is a really good idea. Checking for sleep apnoea is extremely important to prevent chronic disease and there are treatments available.

What happens when we sleep:

When you sleep, important physical and mental processes are carried out. Our bodies rest when we sleep, we reserve energy and lower our blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. At the same time out brains are active storing our memories and carrying out processes that lead to our physical growth.

As a result regular, good sleep is important for brain functioning, emotional wellbeing, our physical health and how well we perform during the day as well as our personal safety.

Sleep plays an important role in the following ways:

  • Most repairs and tissues building occurs during sleep. This is important for strengthening our immune system which helps fight infections, prevent cancer and stabilizes allergies.

  • Controls brain functions which improves memory, cognitive function, concentration and learning.

  • Keeps you heart and blood vessels healthy by lowering blood pressure and heart rate. Studies show that sleeping 58 hours or less a night is associated with a 45% increased risk of heart attack.

  • Good sleep regulates your appetite, and stimulates growth in children. Poor sleep is associated with poor pain tolerance and poor muscle repair.

So we need at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night to be well rested. Easier said than done, I can hear you saying.

Some of us will be in bed for this long but are we actually getting enough sleep or do you toss and turn or wake constantly.

Here are some sure signs that you are not getting enough sleep.

  • Are you grumpy, yawning a lot and struggling to make it through the afternoon? Chances are you are not getting enough sleep.

Other signs include:

  • Bad mood, grumpy and impatient.

  • You feel more stressed and have difficulty coping with the day.

  • You have trouble concentrating and are way more emotional than usual.

  • This will effect your decision making and productivity.

  • You feel constantly hungry and are gaining weight.

  • If you haven't slept enough you may find that you are feeling hungrier than usual. Your body is trying to find extra energy and you may crave food that is high in fat and sugar.

  • You look rough. Dark circles under your eyes and your skin is dull and unhealthy.

  • Your sex drive is gone.

  • If you are tired your libido can suffer. Lack of sleep lowers your testosterone a key hormone for a healthy sex drive.

  • You feel sleepy. Well there is no surprises here, you are looking for a nanna nap.

  • You notice you are getting sick a lot.

Being tired and run down lowers your immunity therefore increasing the risk of catching colds and other ailments. If you are having trouble sleeping contact Naturally Dynamic Health.

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