If you are a person who places a high priority on health, you likely understand the importance of eating well and exercising regularly. However, there is something else that is just as important that you may be overlooking - sleep. Adequate rest is crucial to our overall health, which includes our physical performance and mental well-being. For adults (18 years or older), 7 to 9 hours of sleep is recommended per day.
A lack of sleep can result in reduced alertness, impaired memory, relationship stress, and an increased likelihood of car accidents. (Who knew driving with droopy lids was a bad idea?) If prolonged, inadequate rest increases the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, heart failure, and stroke. Other potential problems include obesity, depression, reduced immune system function, and lower sex drive. (I got your attention with that last one, huh?)
If you find that you are not getting enough sleep, make it a priority. Set a consistent wake time, even on weekends or days off. Sleeping in makes it more difficult to fall asleep the following night and wake up the next morning. Incorporate some form of relaxing activity before bedtime, which means getting away from your phone or tablet. If you happen to wake up during the night, resist the urge to look at the clock. Your brain will start to do sleep math which makes it harder to fall back asleep. And if you are experiencing repeated moderate to severe problems with sleep, reach out to your doctor. Now go catch those Z’s!
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