Sleep Tight! Your Body Will Thank You

Sleep Tight! Your Body Will Thank You - Large

A good night’s sleep does more than make you feel refreshed, energized and ready to start your day. The amount and quality of sleep you get have a major impact on the overall quality of your life. Just like exercising and eating a balanced diet, establishing good sleep habits is essential to your overall health.

Sleep affects how you look, feel and perform.

How much sleep is “just right” varies for each person. Most of us need 6 to 8 hours a day. But a lot of us aren’t getting enough. In fact, one in five American adults suffers from chronic sleep deprivation. Christopher Lauricella, DO, Family Medicine of Vandalia, advises, “When you see your health care provider for an annual checkup, be sure to bring up the topic of sleep. If you’re always setting the alarm early and getting to bed late, you’re at risk for more health problems.” In fact, Dr. Lauricella says, lack of sleep contributes to obesity, cardiovascular problems and memory issues.

Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

What role does sleep play in your everyday preventative health care counsel to your patients?

That’s a good question. How often do I bring up sleep or how often do I ask about sleep when I’m pulling for general health? I try to get to it in every preventative health visit, every six-month or once a year visit with my patients. I’ll usually try to approach it a couple different times just to ask are they going to bed, are they satisfied with sleep and when are they waking up. The other thing I’m looking for is not just the patient who’s having trouble sleeping, the patient with insomnia but also people who are chronically shortening their sleep cycle who are setting their alarm too early and going to bed too late. This can lead to a nice conversation about the importance of sleep and the steps they can take on their own to get a good night’s sleep: not leaving the TV on; not looking at bright screens such as IPads and IPhone right before bed; how much caffeine are they getting . . . because all these small things can lead to deteriorated sleep or changes in sleep architecture that is really limited their ability to get a good night’s sleep.

 

Why Good Sleep Is so Good for You

Even though it may seem that nothing is happening once you nod off, you’re not wasting the time you spend in slumber. Sleep affects how you look, feel and perform. After a night of deep sleep, you wake up more prepared to concentrate, make decisions and engage fully in work, home and social life. When you sleep deeply:Sleep Tight! Your Body Will Thank You - In Content

  • Your body repairs muscle
  • Your memory is better
  • Your immune system becomes stronger and healthier
  • Your appetite is kept in check by the release of hormones that help you feel full
  • Your metabolism is more active
  • Your cardiovascular health improves. Your breathing and heart rate are slower, and your blood pressure drops
  • You wake up alert and focused in the morning, thanks to the hormone cortisol that is released at night
  • Your mental health is better. As stress hormones are reduced, you’re less likely to feel anxious or depressed
Small Steps: Choose decaf after dinner.
If you want to increase your chances for a good night’s sleep, skip the caffeine and go for a cup of decaf coffee or tea after dinner.