The Importance of Getting Enough Sleep | LGW-Health
 

The Importance of Getting Enough Sleep

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The Importance of Getting Enough Sleep

Sleep plays an important role in overall health. It allows our bodies to grow, heal and rejuvenate. Most of us know we’re supposed to get 6-8 hours of sleep a night to be our best. But circumstances are not always within our control, and not everyone is able to sleep when they want or need to. Read on to find out if improved habits could improve your sleep, or if it might be the result of a bigger issue.

Why is Sleep so Important?

You may feel like your body shuts down while you sleep, but a lot is happening while you slumber. During sleep, the brain processes and stores the large quantities of information we consume during the day. Without this downtime we would not be able to retain information and learn new skills at normal levels. This is why children who are learning at an incredibly rapid rate require so much more sleep than adults. The body also uses this time to repair tissue and grow muscles. Ongoing sleep deprivation has been known to cause a number of health related issues, such as weakened immune system, impaired motor functions, and increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and depression. And we all know that irritability and poor decision making skills are often a result of lack of sleep.

Common Causes of Poor Sleep

Bad habits are frequently to blame for not getting enough sleep. We stay up late working, reading or watching TV, resulting in an inconsistent sleep schedule. Diet is also plays a factor in sleep quality. Caffeine, sugar and alcohol are all stimulants that can prevent a good sleep. Using electronic devices before bed has become a big problem in today’s always-connected society. The blue light from a screen can result in reduced melatonin production. Sometimes medical conditions such as sleep apnea, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and anxiety can result in sleep loss.

Ways to Improve your Sleep

By making changes to your schedule, diet or habits you may be able to improve the quality of sleep you are getting. A consistent sleep schedule is an important step. Stick to a regular bedtime and set an alarm to ensure you wake at the same time every day. Remove distractions from the bedroom, including work and electronic devices. Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake, especially late in the evening.

If your sleep loss is the result of an illness or condition, you may require medical treatment. Painful illnesses that affect sleep quality such as arthritis and fibromyalgia can sometimes be treated with medical marijuana. Now that Medical Cannabis in Australia is legal, you should consult your doctor to find out if this treatment could work for you.

The first step to improved sleep is to eliminate the cause of the problem. Try adjusting your habits to see if your sleep improves. If you take a long time to fall asleep, wake several times during the night and have trouble falling back asleep, or are experiencing tingling feelings in your arms and legs, you could have a sleep disorder and should see a doctor.


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