WHY GOOD SLEEP IS ESSENTIAL TO GOOD HEALTH
Sleep is necessary for our bodies to build up energy reserves and regenerate body cells and tissues. During sleep, your heartbeat and breathing slow, growth hormones peak, muscles relax, and your body temperature lowers. Sleep is a sophisticated process carefully regulated by our brain with valuable restorative properties for our physical and mental health.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DON’T HAVE ENOUGH SLEEP
Short-term sleep deprivation usually causes little physical harm, since the body component for the lack of sleep by increasing its adrenaline levels during the day. A person may experience temporary feelings of pessimism or negativity. However, even short-term sleep deprivation can be dangerous if driving a car or operating machinery. Sleep deprivation is thought to cause half of all traffic fatalities. In fact, studies have shown that being forced to stay awake 17 to 19 hours can cause the same impaired abilities as having a 0.05 percent blood alcohol content.
THE PHYSICAL CONSEQUENCES
Irregular sleep patterns and lack of sleep can bring on short attention span, memory and vocabulary loss, and other symptoms. Complication can include obesity, premature aging, fatigue and increased risk for diabetes, infection, cardiovascular disease and gastrointestinal disease. Chronic sleep deprivation can even lead to paranoia or hallucinations.
HOW TO TELL IF YOU’RE GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP
Sleep comes easily. You rarely wake up during the night and can fall back asleep with ease. You wake up at the same time each morning without an alarm. You feel alert during the day and seldom need to nap. Ask yourself: When you wake up, do you feel refreshed, or is your body longing for more sleep? Do you rely on a lot of coffee to get you through the day?
WHAT DOES YOUR SLEEPING POSITION SAY ABOUT YOU
If you sleep on your side:
You’re in the majority of the world’s population. In fact, the Chinese believe that sleeping on your right side with your left arm resting on your thigh is the ideal position for circulation. This position is recommended for people who snore because it allows for easier breathing.
If you sleep on your back:
Hopefully you don’t have a problem snoring. (If so, your sleep partner is likely to have mentioned it.) People who snore are notorious back sleepers. However, this position is considered best for your complexion because your face isn’t pressed against the pillow. If you’re experiencing back pain in this position, tuck a pillow under your knees for support.
If you sleep on your stomach:
Watch out for back pain. Because of lack of lumbar support, this is the toughest position for your back. It’s important to choose a softer pillow with the right amount of fill to reduce arching your back too severely in this position.
If you sleep curled in a ball:
Usually the reason people curl up tightly is to keep warm. However, your back may suffer for it in the morning. If being cold is the issue, try a warmer blanket or pajamas, comforter, or flannel sheets.
If you sleep stretched out:
Obviously you like room to move, so make sure you invest in a large enough bed so it doesn’t become an issue with you and your bed partner. Moving your arms and legs and rolling from side to side are also good ideas to prevent your joints from getting stiff.
HOW CLOSE ARE TO REPLACING YOUR MATTRESS? THAT DEPENDS ON TWO THINGS
1) How Tired Is Your Mattress? Signs It Might Be Time To Replace Your Sleep Set:
- A valley had developed in the section of the mattress where you sleep. - Sagging across the middle third of the mattress or along the side makes you roll toward your partner. - The mattress makes creaking noises. - Soft, non-supportive edges are a sign of edge breakdown. - You’re waking up sore or stiff in the morning. - You’ve developed reoccurring back pain.
2) How Tired Are You? Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep or Your Sleep Quality is Poor.
You are: - Always tired in the morning. - Have constant difficulty getting out of bed. - In need of a nap during the day. - Irritable. - Unable to concentrate. - Not sleeping well. Poor sleeping habits or sleep deprivation is usually the first sign of a low-quality or older mattress.
HOW IMPORTANT IS YOUR MATTRESS? NO ITEM IN YOUR HOME WILL EVER GET MORE HOURS OF USE
Your mattress is the most important piece of furniture in your home. You’ll spend a third of your life on it. Hopefully, that’s more than any television, mobile phone, or computer. And no other piece of furniture contributes so profoundly to your health and well-being. Buying a mattress is a decision that you should carefully think about. Since most people do not replace their mattress often, you’ll have to live with your decision for a long time. To most buyers, comfort is the single most important factor. Support and durability rank close behind. When it comes to comfort, there is no right and wrong. Only what’s right for you. It’s worth the effort to find out what works best for you.
People who regularly sleep more or fewer than seven hours a night could be increasing their risk of heart disease, new research found.
A study of more than 30,000 adults found that cardiovascular disease – angina, heart attack and strokes – was twice as likely to occur in people who slept for less than seven hours a night compared with those who slept for seven hours.
In the study, participants were asked to fill in questionaires about their hearth and lifestyle, including questions about their sleep patterns.
People who slept for fewer than five hours a night had double the risk of developing heart disease compared to those who got a good seven hours.
The findings showed the risk was highest in women, and in those over the age of 60.
Sleeping for more than seven hours was also shown to be associated with an increased, but less dramatic risk, as people who slept for more than nine hours a day were one and a half times more likely to develop heart disease.
Although the researchers could not explain why too much or too little sleep could affect the health of your heart, they suggested that short sleep duration may be related to changes in the body’s metabolism and hormonal functions.
Sleep deprivation is associated with impaired glucose tolerance, reduced insulin sensitivity and elevated blood pressure, all of which increase the risk of hardening of the arteries, they said.
Long sleep duration may be related to an underlying sleep-related breathing disorder or poor sleep quality, researchers said.
“Sleep disturbances may be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease even among apparently healthy subjects,”said study leader Dr Anoop Shankar from the Department of Community Medicine at West Virginia University.
“Our study findings may have important clinical and public health implications, such as screening for changes in sleep duration by primary care physicians as a potential risk factor for cardiovascular disease, or initiating
public health initiatives focusing on improving sleep quality and quantity,” Dr Shankar added.
The findings are published in the Journal of Sleep.