The importance of sleep for overall health and well-being is critical. In fact, when people get less than 6 or 7 hours of sleep each night, their risk for developing diseases begins to increase.
Adequate sleep helps:
- Reduce risk for heart attacks and strokes – lack of sleep has been associated with worsening of blood pressure and cholesterol – leading to heart disease.
- Reduce risk for cancer – working the late shift increases risk for breast and colon cancer. Researchers believe this link is caused by differing levels of melatonin in people who are exposed to light at night. Light exposure reduces the level of melatonin, a hormone that appears to suppress the growth of tumors. Be sure that your bedroom is dark to help your body produce the melatonin it needs.
- Decrease Stress – When your body is sleep deficient, it goes into a state of stress, which causes an increase in blood pressure and production of stress hormones. The stress hormones also, unfortunately, make it harder for you to sleep.
- Decrease Inflammation – The increase in stress hormones, from lack of sleep, increases the inflammation in your body – creating more risk for heart-related conditions, as well as cancer and diabetes.
- Brain Power – When your body may be resting during sleep, your brain is busy processing your day. Your dreams and deep sleep are an important time for your brain to make memories and links. Getting more quality sleep will help you process things better and improve memory recall.
- You Lose Weight – The hormones ghrelin and leptin, important for the regulation of appetite, are disrupted by lack of sleep. People who sleep less than seven hours per night are more likely to be overweight or obese.
- Reduce Your Risk for Depression – Sleep impacts many of the chemicals in your body, including serotonin. People with a deficiency in serotonin are more likely to suffer from depression.
- Immune Support – Sleep is a time for your body to repair damage caused by stress, ultraviolet rays, medications, and other harmful exposures.
Need a good night sleep? Take our relaxation/sleep quiz to see if your body is getting the rest and repair it needs.
To learn more about natural products to help with relaxation and getting your zzzs, contact us today to schedule an appointment. Your dietitian at Healthy 4 Life Nutrition can develop a nutrition and lifestyle plan to help you get the rest your body craves.