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Sleep is an activity that many may not give much thought to unless experiencing sleep difficulties. Even then, the connection between good health and proper sleep may not be recognized. However, getting adequate sleep is crucial for overall health.
Unfortunately, 70% of American adults report getting insufficient sleep at least one night a month, and 11% report getting insufficient sleep every night. Regrettably, this trend toward poor sleep is not improving but growing worse. So much so that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has labeled this crisis an epidemic.
Why is a good night's rest so crucial for our health? Well, it is not a single night of restful sleep that is needed, but consistent good sleep habits. During sleep, multiple biological processes take place. Cells throughout the body are being repaired and reorganized. The body is releasing hormones and proteins that regulate different bodily functions. And the brain is storing new information. A lot is going on while you are asleep! No wonder it's so important to get it right.
All these processes are necessary for your body and mind to function properly. When you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, you hinder the ability of these processes to work. Not reaching the deep sleep phase, when much of this activity is occurring, or awakening during this phase of sleep can leave you tired, unable to function properly, and set the stage for several negative health impacts.
Suffering from insufficient sleep can lead to a myriad of physical and emotional health complications, some of which are indicated below.
In addition to the issues mentioned above, an impaired performance due to poor sleep habits contributes to work accidents, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 795 persons were killed in 2017 due to drowsy driving.
Hopefully, it is now evident that developing good sleep habits is vital to reducing your risk for the problems indicated above. The main thing you should know is that getting adequate rest is a simple thing you can do to help yourself feel better, look better, perform better, and be better. Getting the right amount and the right kind of sleep can help you to:
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Some people are not 'good sleepers,' whether due to a sleep disorder or a hectic lifestyle. So, how can you improve your sleep habits? If you think you may have a sleep disorder, contact a professional to investigate the possibility. Also, you may have to change some of your sleep habits. Some practices we have can interfere with proper sleep, others facilitate rest. Below is a list of 'do's' and 'don'ts' when it comes to getting a good night's sleep.
There are many things you can do to foster overall well-being, such as healthy eating, exercising, taking supplements, and attending to your mental health. Another thing you can do is to improve the sleep you are getting daily. This one change will enhance the other efforts you are making towards optimal health.
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