Sweet Dreams: Improve your health & wellbeing with better sleep

Sweet Dreams: Improve your health & wellbeing with better sleep

About 1 in 3 adults — and even more adolescents — don’t get enough sleep, which can affect their health and well-being.

- Healthy People 2030, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Along with exercise and eating whole nutritious foods, a sufficient amount of quality sleep is essential for optimal health and wellbeing. However, ever-increasing demands, stresses and distractions in our lives, make it easy to forgo sleep. Sleep is associated with health, wellbeing, productivity, and quality of life. Important body functions occur during sleep. This is the body’s time to rest, repair and restore. Hormones that regulate appetite, stress, energy expenditure and other functions are released during sleep. Sleep is especially important for brain development in children and adolescents, including the part of the brain that regulates appetite and energy levels.

After reading the tips here, be sure to download your free Improve Your Health & Wellbeing with Better Sleep Workbook to identify your sleep quality and habits, and how to make adjustments for better sleep.

BENEFITS OF GOOD SLEEP

Benefits of sufficient quality sleep on a regular basis include:

  • Increased energy
  • Improved quality of life
  • Improved physical health
  • Sharper concentration and focus
  • Better decision making
  • Improved memory
  • Ability to manage stress
  • Strengthened immune system to fight infection
  • Improved mood
  • Proper endocrine and neurological functioning
  • Increased productivity

SLEEP DEPRIVATION

Sleep supports sugar metabolism which helps prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes and other metabolic conditions. Poor sleep is associated with an increased risk of health conditions, including:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Dementia
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Arthritis
Woman sleeping with mask over eyes for darkness

Cognitive functioning also declines with poor sleep, making it difficult to process new information, focus and accomplish complex tasks. Inadequate sleep measurably changes brain activity and is associated with:

  • Impaired decision making
  • Increased traffic accidents
  • Poor school performance and work errors
  • Decreased productivity
  • Difficulty managing emotions and mood, leading to anxiety, irritability, anger and sadness

OBESITY & SLEEP

Alarm Clock

Poor sleep is linked to obesity in multiple ways:

  • When metabolic hormone levels are affected, hunger may increase while
  • energy levels are reduced.
  • Being tired often reduces the amount of physical activity done during the day.
  • Refined, sweet and salty foods with high fat and carbohydrates replace healthier choices.

Studies have shown that lack of sleep is linked to obesity. While this is seen in all age groups, children are even more affected because their brains are still developing.

GOOD SLEEP HABITS

Good sleep habits can improve your sleep. The optimal amount of sleep varies depending on the individual and their age. Try identifying your sleep patterns and needs, then experiment to discover which sleep habits work best for you.

Bedtime Ritual - herbal tea, candle, book to read

ESTABLISH A BEDTIME ROUTINE

Along with going to bed and waking around the same time each day, a bedtime routine can help develop a healthy rhythm for sleep. Consider what is relaxing for you, can be easily and regularly, and will signal your body that it’s nearing the time to sleep. A bedtime routine can be short and simple like journaling 5 minutes before bed. Or, it can be longer and include several activities, for example, drinking an herbal caffeine-free tea, yoga, taking a bath with essential oils and epsom salts, then reading. Experiment to discover what activities improve your sleep.

IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP, IMPROVE YOUR LIFE!

Woman in PJs writing in journal in bed

Improving your sleep starts with tracking it to see what is already working and what needs adjusted. This can be as simple as writing down the time you go to sleep and the time you wake up each day, to as complicated as wearing a device that measures sleep quality. Next, use this information to identify patterns and what changes may improve your sleep.

Be sure to download your free downloadable Improve Your Health & Wellbeing with Better Sleep Workbook to identify your sleep quality and habits, and how to make adjustments for better sleep. 

Sleep is linked to health, wellbeing, productivity, and quality of life. A sufficient amount of quality sleep is essential for optimal health and wellbeing, along with exercise and eating whole nutritious foods. Improve your sleep, improve your life!

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