Sleep - The Forgotten Pillar Of Health
Most likely more than most people are getting. I have heard it said that sleep is the forgotten Pillar of Health.
Many years ago, I was listening to a podcast with Robb Wolf and in that podcast, he stated if most people just got more sleep and better quality sleep we would be healthier. Period. (Read more from Robb Wolf on sleep here - https://robbwolf.com/2014/02/13/importance-good-night-sleep/)
So, if we just paid more attention to getting more sleep and better-quality sleep, we would feel better.
Lack of quality sleep can cause stress! And that is not good. Did you know that 8 out of 10 people see their primary doctor because of stress related health issues? Crazy important to pay attention to our sleep.
The amount of sleep that a person requires varies as they age. Newborn babies, for example, require anywhere from 12 to 18 hours of sleep per day. While an adult can manage on only 7 hours.
The biggest thing to understand is that there is no magic number when it comes to sleep. Sleep patterns are as individual as your personality.
The quality of your sleep is often more important than the actual number of hours. OK read that again! The quality of your sleep is often more important than the actual numbers of hours.
Your mood and energy levels are a good indication of sleep deprivation.
People who do not have quality sleep are at more risk of being involved in a car accident, are at risk for heart disease and diabetes. Plus, many people find that they gain weight when they do not sleep enough for long periods of time.
So how much sleep does a person need?
The best way to determine just how much sleep you require is to pay attention to your body. Note things such as what kind of mood you are in, are you feeling more hungry than usual and how much energy you have.
Pay attention to how many nights per week that you do get enough sleep. If this number is low, then you may want to look at your sleep habits and make some changes.
Quite often having a warm bath or shower before going to bed can make a huge difference. Drinking coffee or alcohol too close to bedtime can be a huge issue for a good night’s sleep. In fact, it is best not to drink coffee after 2pm at the latest if you find coffee is causing you issues with your sleep!
One of the best ways to realize the quality of your sleep is to keep a sleep journal!
Each morning make notes on last nights sleep quality.
After noting your sleep habits for a few weeks, you will be able to determine just how much sleep your body requires.
Tips for quality sleep:
Sleep in a completely dark room – either use black out curtains or a eye mask
Get to sleep before 10:30pm on a regular basis
Vigorous exercise at least 3-4 hours before sleep time
Eliminate coffee, alcohol in evening if you find it is causing issues with your sleep quality
Eliminate sugar (desserts) in the evening if they are causing sleep quality issues
Take a technology break at least 1 hour before bedtime
Dim the lights at least 1 hour before bedtime
How much sleep does a person need?
It depends and only you will know what the right amount for you is.
Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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We have outsourced our lifestyle for way too long!