What Can Help You Lose Weight, Improve Your Memory, Mood & Immune System
& Give You More Energy?
Sleep!! It is recommended we sleep 7-9 hours per night to optimize our well-being. Believing sleep is simply a cozy, little luxury which comes at the end of a long day is a tremendous underestimate of the value of sleep. Getting adequate quality sleep can help protect our mental and physical health, quality of life and safety. When we sleep, our brains are forming new pathways to help us learn and remember information. Sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make us feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin). Sleep also helps regulate insulin, the hormone that controls blood sugar. In addition, sleep boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells and tissues in the body while promoting the ability to fight infection. Regarding children, 80% of bone growth occurs while sleeping; hence to maximize growth, children need adequate sleep!
It is a common myth we can learn to get by on little sleep without negative repercussions. Sleep deficiency is linked to:
- Increased risk of injury. Sleep deprivation harms our ability to drive; the loss of just two hours of sleep can impair driving similar to a .05 blood alcohol level. The National Roads & Motorists Association estimates fatigue is involved in one in 6 fatal road accidents. The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off of Alaska, the Challenger space shuttle disaster and the Chernobyl nuclear accident have all been attributed to human errors in which sleep deprivation played a role.
- Decreased productivity at work and school. People who are sleep deprived take longer to finish tasks, have slower reaction time and make more mistakes.
- Chronic health problems including: heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, obesity and depression.
Tips for getting adequate sleep:
- Set a regular bedtime and stick to it.
- caffeinated beverages in the afternoon and evening.
- watching TV in bed and using computer prior to sleeping. Research indicates the blue light emitted from screens interfere with melatonin, a natural chemical in our body which helps us sleep.
- heavy meals, alcohol and nicotine before bedtime.
- Take a warm bath or shower before going to bed.
- Practice relaxation techniques.
- Exercise daily, but not too close to bedtime.
- Keep your bedroom dark, quiet and cool.
Put these tips to task and begin your 7-9 hours of sleep, today! To track your progress, go to www.95210.org/Collier.
“9”, or the recommendation to sleep 7-9 hours each day, is part of the “9–5–2–1–0 BFF, Let’s Go” campaign recommended by physicians, dietitians, nurses, fitness experts and other healthcare practitioners in partnership with the Safe & Healthy Children’s Coalition of Collier County. Each week, a different number will be highlighted as the Coalition reaches out to educate the community about this important public health message. For more information, go to www.95210.org/Collier.
Special thanks to the Collier County Health Department for taking the lead on promulgating the 95210 message and to Team Wellness Challenge, L3C, a partner of Whole Child Leon and Working Well located in Tallahassee, Florida, for allowing us to use their wonderful 95210 tracking system.