We like to think of sleep as a nuisance, something that keeps us from getting more done. But it serves a purpose. Study after study has shown the importance of sleep, and it goes beyond just not feeling tired.
From a 2005 National Sleep Foundation poll that found that “more 40% of people admitted to having 'fallen asleep or nodded off'” to a University of Pennsylvania study showing memory deterioration and slowed response time after just 1 night of deprived sleep, which was reversed with 2 night of recovery sleep, the effect of limited sleep can be a safety issue, a productivity issue and work issue.
When our bodies are tired, our bodies are telling us something. An energy drink or quick run to the coffee shop can be good for a short-term boost, but these things have become more of a crutch without us taking the time to adjust our sleep to prevent tiredness during the day.
Lack of sleep can lead to mental health issues, such as depression and physical health issues including the cardiovascular system, likely a side effect of the stress that limited sleep creates on the body.
Not getting enough sleep? Here's some tips
• Set a regular time for bed
• Avoid caffeine, alcohol and other sugary foods before bed.
• Make your room as dark as possible and dim lights in the bedroom for awhile before going to bed
• Try to avoid smartphone or tablet-PC before going to bed or in bed – the bright light can affect your internal clock; read a book or magazine instead. Or dim the screen.
• Be active during the day. A good work out routine helps make us tired at night
A healthy body can make a healthy mind – and vice versa. Getting enough sleep may be one of the easiest things you can do to work on your mind and your body.
This Topic of the Week written by Brian Swope, MFT