Sleep

The amount of quality sleep you get each day is important for your health and well-being. Sleep is a time for the brain and body to engage in vital growth and repair. A good night’s sleep ensures you will feel refreshed and alert when you wake up in the morning.

Sleep Recommendations

  • For optimal health, adults should sleep for 7 or more hours each night.
  • Good sleep quality is essential. Forming better sleep habits may improve the quality of your sleep.
  • Try this sleep calculator to determine an optimal sleep schedule.
  • If getting enough sleep is not a part of your routine, you may be at an increased risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, poor mental health, and even early death.
  • Even one night of short sleep can affect you the next day. You will be more likely to be in a bad mood, be less productive, and be affected by drowsy driving.
  • If you have symptoms of a sleep disorder, such as snoring or being very sleepy during the day after a full night’s sleep, be sure to tell your doctor.

Benefits of Proper Sleep

  • Sharper Brain: Sleep plays a big part in learning and memory. Without sleep, it’s tough to focus and take in new information.
  • Mood Boost: When you sleep, your brain processes your emotions. Your mind needs this time in order to recognize and react the right way. When you cut sleep short, you tend to have more negative emotional interactions.
  • Healthier Heart: When you sleep, your blood pressure goes down giving your heart and blood vessels a bot if rest.
  • Athletic Achievement: A lack of sleep robs your energy and the time needed for muscle repair. It also slows reaction time which is important in some sports.
  • Steadier Blood Sugar: During deep sleep, the amount of glucose in your body drops
  • Germ Fighting: Ongoing lack of sleep changes the way your immune cells work, and thus you can get sick more often.
  • Weight Control: Sleep deprivation messes with the hormones in your body that control appetite (leptin & ghrelin)

Tips for Better Sleep

  • Be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends.
  • Make sure your bedroom environment is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature.
  • Remove electronic devices, such as TVs, computers, and smart phones, from the bedroom.
  • Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime.
  • Get some exercise. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep easier at night.
  • Try a relaxing bedtime ritual to wind down for the evening: take a warm bath, follow relaxation exercises, listen to soft music, and follow a deep breathing exercise
  • Try a weighted blanket to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety and stress.

Can’t Sleep?

  • Even one night of short sleep can affect you the next day. You will be more likely to be in a bad mood, be less productive, and be affected by drowsy driving.
  • It’s important to practice good sleep habits, but if your sleep problems continue or if they interfere with how you feel or function during the day, you should talk to your doctor. Before visiting your doctor, keep a diary of your sleep habits for about ten days to discuss at the visit.
  • Over-the-counter or prescription medications and supplements may make it harder for you to sleep
  • Learn about how your Sleep Drive and Circadian Rhythm can affect your sleep.

Resources