Be honest, how has your sleep been? Does your slumber regularly go uninterrupted, or do you often endure restless nights of tossing and turning? Your answer is important because sleep is important! It’s so vital that it impacts how you function on a daily basis as well as your overall health and wellness. In our latest free webinar, Nurse Practitioner Becky Barkey explains the effects and contributors of poor sleep and how keeping good sleep habits can help you catch more zzz’s for the long term.
The low-down on sleep.
While we often brush off a poor night’s sleep thinking we can make up for it the next night, it really doesn’t work like that. Sleep deprivation is a huge contributor to aging and poor health. To live well and healthy, your sleep hygiene matters. So how do you know if you’re getting a good night’s rest? You’re falling asleep easily, sleeping through the night without waking and waking up in the morning feeling rested. In addition, you’re getting enough sleep, which for adults is at least seven to nine hours a night. On the other hand, some signs you’re sleeping poorly include snoring, tossing and turning, frequent waking, daytime sleepiness, mood changes, irritability, depression, increased appetite/weight gain and getting sick more often. Do any of these ring true for you?
Poor sleep has a major impact on the body, including on the:
○ Slows reaction times, which can increase risk of accidents and injuries
○ Decreases concentration, attention and mental performance
○ Decreases cognitive function, impairs memory, increases risk of Alzheimer’s disease
○ Increases blood pressure
○ Increases risk of high cholesterol
○ Increases risk of insulin resistance (pre-diabetes)
○ Alters gut bacteria
○ Increases risk of digestive disorders such as GERD, IBS, constipation
○ Contributes to leaky gut
- Immune system
○ Increases inflammation
○ Increases risk of upper respiratory infections (URIs)
○ Decreases vaccine efficacy
- Muscles and bones
○ Lowers bone mineral density
○ Lowers pain threshold
○ Increases fatigue
○ Causes fluctuations in estrogen, progesterone, testosterone
○ Releases cortisol (a stress hormone)
There are many contributors to poor sleep.
For starters, if you’re over the age of 65, you’re likely to experience a lower quality of sleep just due to the natural aging process. Other contributors include medical conditions, sleep disorders, medications, irregular bedtimes, temporary situations and external stimuli such as using electronics before bedtime. The good news is, with a few lifestyle changes, some of these factors can be resolved.
Keeping up good sleep hygiene is KEY!
Having good sleep habits, also referred to as sleep hygiene, can help significantly improve your sleep. More often than not, there’s more than one factor impacting your sleep, meaning multiple changes may be needed. Adjusting your bedtime and wake time to be more consistent is one way to optimize your sleep hygiene. You may also find it helpful to create a good sleep atmosphere that’s electronics-free, avoid sleep disruptors, establish a relaxing wind-down routine and exercise more often. Some supplements can be beneficial as well, including melatonin and magnesium. The key is to find what works for you and stick with it — your body will thank you for it!
Ready to catch some major zzz’s AND improve your health in the process? Watch the full webinar today and reach out to the BESANA Health & Wellness team by calling 303.327.7300 or requesting a consultation online.