Sleep. Quality sleep. We all crave it. We all know the restorative qualities sleep offers. Yet sleep is the one activity on our crazy, filled “to-do” list which is most often neglected. This weekend we all “lose an hour” with the setting ahead of the clocks and with that your Chiron Physical Therapy family wanted to remind you of the importance of sleep and provide strategies to improve your overall health.
HOW MUCH SLEEP DO YOU REALLY NEED?
There is no set number, no “one size fits all” number to success but the prevailing thought is most adults need seven to nine hours a night. Some manage fine with six to seven hours. But how much do YOU need? Two key indicators of good sleep are:
- your willingness to get out of bed (do you wake up alert and refreshed) and
- your overall energy level (are you irritable, sleepy or tired) during the day.
TOP 3 REASONS SLEEP is IMPORTANT
Lack of sleep (long- or short-term) may result in symptoms like irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. In some cases, anxiety and depression may also result.
2. Cardiovascular health
Serious sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea have been linked to high blood pressure, increased stress hormone levels, cardiac arrhythmias, and increased inflammation. Studies have shown that the risk of heart attacks increases when you consistently sleep less than five hours per night.
3. Immunity/risk of disease
Scientists have found that sleep deprivation alters immune function. If you don’t get enough sleep, you may find yourself falling sick more often.
STRATEGIES to IMPROVE SLEEP
- Perform gentle, restorative stretching and controlled breathing exercises before bed.
- Your Chiron Family can design a stretching program for you
- Dim the lights in your bedroom before bedtime. Dimming the lights enables the body to begin to relax by “triggering” the body to wind down.
- Turn the temperature down. Your body needs to cool to a certain temperature to reach a sound state of sleep so cooler bedroom temperatures are recommended.
Your Chiron Physical Therapy family cares about all aspects of your health and wellness. Sleep is the foundation for recovery from injury and/or the exercise routines you enjoy. When you get enough sleep your body functions better making you stronger physically and mentally so … get some sleep this weekend.