Ancient wisdom and modern medicine agree that sleep is vital to our health. Sleep gives our bodies a chance to perform essential restorative actions. Unfortunately, modern life can make getting a good night’s sleep challenging. Work and family stressors, busy schedules and other factors can gravely impact the quantity and quality of our sleep. Just as proper planning and preparation can help develop healthy eating habits, creating a dedicated sleep schedule can help you find the healthy sleep habits that you need to revitalize your health.
In creating a sleep schedule, it’s important to set aside 7-9 hours for rest each day, beginning and ending around the same time. Make your bedroom a dedicated space for sleep, banishing TVs, phones and other electronic devices before bed. Establish a routine each night that involves a gentle activity like yoga or reading to wind down, getting cleaned up and dressed for sleep and a set “lights out” time. Maintaining your sleep schedule and bedtime routine should improve your sleep health, and in turn impact other systems positively. Keep reading to learn the ways a sleep schedule can revitalize your health.
1. Boost Your Mood
Sleep has a profound impact on your mood. You may notice that even after one or two nights of poor rest, you feel more irritable, stressed or sad. Small inconveniences may seem like major crises after just a couple sleepless nights. Then, after getting adequate rest, your mood returns to normal. This is common. While a poor night of sleep here or there is common, even with a dedicated sleep routine, studies have shown that prolonged disturbances in sleep or abnormal sleep habits can lead to mood disorders like anxiety and depression. Insomnia is a major predictor of many other psychiatric disorders. Establishing and maintaining a sleep schedule helps retrain your body’s circadian rhythm, restoring balance to your mood.
2. Maintain Healthy Brain Function
Consistent, healthy sleep habits are vital to several aspects of brain function including cognition, concentration, productivity and performance. While you’re sleeping, your brain basically takes care of the housekeeping. Your nerve cells are able to reorganize themselves while your lymphatic system filters out toxic byproducts built up by the central nervous system. Sleep is also believed to contribute to memory by converting short-term memories into long-term memories and sending unnecessary information and clutter to the trash folder. Setting up a sleep schedule gives your brain time each night to perform these vital functions, allowing you to think faster and more effectively during the day. Without proper sleep you’re more susceptible to errors that can undermine your job performance and even put you in danger of injury or harming others.
3. Improve Your Physical Health
Several of our bodies’ systems require adequate sleep to function properly. Poor sleep habits can have grave consequences for your metabolic, endocrine and immune systems. Sleep has been shown to prevent insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes. Sleep also regulates your hunger hormones, ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin triggers your body to crave food while leptin tells your brain you’re full. Without sleep, your ghrelin hormones don’t shut off and leptin is suppressed which can result in struggles with weight management. Sleep is also the time that our body’s cells repair and replicate, including antibodies, immune cells and vital proteins. Sleep deprivation, therefore suppresses the immune system, making you more susceptible to illness. Due to the increased risk of weight gain, insulin resistance, anxiety and inflammation, sleep deprivation is also linked to heart disease. So like the Dalai Lama says, “Sleep is the best medicine.”
Stay Healthy with Richfield Medical Group
Richfield Medical Group takes a holistic approach to our patients’ health. As a family practice, we strive to provide both excellent care and helpful information to empower our patients to better overall health. Establishing healthy sleep habits through a sleep schedule is a great way to improve your overall health and support your existing treatments for other conditions.
If you believe you may be struggling with a sleep disorder, such as insomnia, our friends at Whitney Sleep can evaluate your symptoms, identify the root causes and provide the treatment you need to achieve the rest you deserve. Effective healthcare is a team sport. You, your healthcare team at Richfield Medical Group and specialists like those at Whitney Sleep are all working together with the same goal in mind: a healthier, happier you. To make an appointment with us or to learn more about improving your sleep, please contact us today at https://richfieldmedicalgroup.com/.