The evidence is in, as if you didn’t know, that SLEEP is even more important than diet, exercise, or heredity in predicting longevity. How many hours of quality sleep do you get at night? Too little AND too much shorten the lifespan. Seven to nine hours of good sleep will lengthen your lifespan. The National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research estimates that 38,000 cardiovascular deaths, due to Sleep Apnea, occur each year. Add to that both industrial and automobile accidents and we have a serious problem.
Loss of sleep and fatigue create
- Increased negativity and irritability
- Lack of energy
- Inability to maintain attentiveness to task
- Inability to recall what you just saw, read, or heard (short term memory loss)
- Decreased interpersonal skills
Do any of the above sound familiar? We take for granted that we will sleep or catch up on our sleep later. However sleep is not just “time-out” but a highly complex interaction of circadian rhythm synchronization. During sleep, melatonin, growth hormone, aldosterone increase production. These hormones are essential to our health at many levels. Shakespeare wrote, “Sleep knits up the edge of ragged time…” Eventually, depriving ourselves of regular sleep will create many subtle, chronic health problems.
Many of you have asked about sleep – positions, patterns, mattresses, etc. Following are several recommendations for healthier sleep. If you want to know more, please call my office for an appointment.
- Reduce pain or discomfort – adjustments, ice, moist heat and proper pillows
- Use a mattress with proper support, comfort, and temperature
- Arise the same time every day
- No caffeine, alcohol, nicotine 4 hours before bedtime
- Have a dark and quiet sleep environment
- Create a relaxing routine at bedtime
- Limit naps to less than one hour preferably before 4 pm.
- Follow a stable and appropriate diet