(Adapted from Dr. Sarah Ballantyne’s Book Go To Bed)
Welcome to our “Sleep Series”!! Getting adequate, quality sleep is SUCH an important topic to our entire health we can’t jam everything into one post. So we will be posting several articles on sleep, it’s importance, how to get enough, how to set – and keep – a bedtime and more. Keep checking our blog for more helpful articles on this vital component in our health.
In the last 50 years our consumer-driven culture has begun to shift it’s focus to productivity at the expense of our health. The drive to keep up, do more, evaluate our productivity and stay plugged in AT ALL TIMES has a huge price tag. People are more likely to take a pill or drink something stimulating to compensate for not getting enough sleep but we are ignoring a problem that, could very well, be slowly killing us. Getting even just 30 min less than we need a night creates a sleep deficit that negatively affects our health. And sleeping in on the weekends to make up for it, doesn’t help.
It’s time to get off the hamster wheel, take a deep breath and inform ourselves on how to take back control of our lives. If you don’t establish priorities in your life, someone else will!!
Here are 8 ways that sleep is critical to our health:
- Regulates our body systems: Sleep affects every system in our body including our hormones, brains, and immune system and the lack of it may be the single, biggest contributor to chronic illness in our society. Yep! You heard that right. Not diet, stress or inactivity but sleep. It affects:
- our hunger levels
- the foods we crave
- how impulsive our behaviour is
- how we respond to stress
- our motivation to be active
- our likelihood to suffer from addiction
- Helps Prevent Chronic Disease: There is a very strong correlation between shortened or disrupted sleep and diabetes, obesity, heart disease, breast cancer, autoimmune diseases and increased morbidity.
- Helps Maintain Our Mental Health: There’s an overwhelming link between getting enough sleep and our mental health. As far an “energy consumers” go, our brains use the most amount of energy in our body. If our mental health is suffering it affects our energy levels and vice versa. It becomes a vicious cycle.
- Helps with Memory: Sleep restores every cell in our body and even helps with memory. Have you ever walked into a room and wondered why you were in there?!
- Increases Efficiency: Sleep increases our efficiency during the day. You can think clearer, be sharper and get more accomplished when you put sleep at the top of your “to do” list.
- Maintains Circadian Rhythm: Having a regular bedtime helps establish your internal, circadian rhythm. This is vital because your circadian rhythm is responsible for assigning tasks to your other organs that help regulate your bodily functions.
- Improves Decision- Making: Sleep deprivation negatively affects your decision-making skills. There is science behind the saying “sleep on it” that actually proves we make clearer, wiser decisions after having a good night’s sleep.
- Balances hormones: Poor sleep affects our sex hormones which contribute to our thyroid health, fertility, menstrual cycles (in women), bone formation, and immune health. We are complex beings!!
And because we are such complex beings, we at Durham Pelvic Health believe it’s so important to treat the entire patient – mind and body. We assess all aspects of your health to help determine the best plan of care for your unique needs. Please call us today for a free 15 minute phone consult or to book your appointment. It’s time to put yourself first!!
Stay tuned for more posts on sleep, with tips and tricks on how to improve it and get more of it!