Sleep and your Health – Part 1

Can Sleep be a Game Changer in your Health?

Wake up! It’s time to get up and celebrate National Sleep Month! I, love it when I can get a really good night’s sleep.
How about you? Are you getting enough ZZZZ’s? Sleep seems to be underrated in our society, we’re too busy to get enough of it. Could lack of sleep be causing some of our serious health problems? Is lack of sleep behind the obesity and diabetes epidemic?

It’s a radical thought, but studies now show that sleep or the lack thereof, is associated with the number of new cases of diabetes and the obesity rate:
• 2 million new diabetes diagnoses per year (25 million are diagnosed)
• Over 1/3 of the US adults (37%) are obese.

No doubt – the high obesity stats contributes to the increasing diabetes rate.
So what’s sleep got to do with these 2 ever growing health problems?
Scientists have found that insufficient quantity and quality of sleep may affect
• eating behavior
• everyday physical activity
• overall energy balance
• individual risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

In fact, sleep quality was associated with
• increased hunger
• uncontrolled and emotional eating

Getting enough sleep is easier said than done….

About 30% of people say sleeping is problematic.
About 10% have insomnia (having significant problems falling and/or staying asleep for at least one month.

Why Do We Need Sleep?

• That’s when we repair and detoxify our bodies.
• It increases our ability to fight viruses like the common cold (that ability decreases 300% when we get less than 7 hours of sleep).
• Promotes heart health (lack of sleep is associated with worsening of blood pressure and cholesterol).
• Decreases risk of cancer (normal levels of melatonin suppresses tumor growth).
• Sleep reduces stress (the increase in stress hormones raises the level of inflammation in your body, responsible for chronic illnesses).
• Sleep reduces inflammation (inflammation increases the risk for heart-related conditions, as well as cancer and diabetes, not to mention is responsible for AGING!).
• Sleep bolsters your memory, so you both remember and process better.
So how is your health stacking up against this list of reasons why it’s important to get enough sleep? Tell me how many hours of sleep you get and if you currently have any of these health issues. Don’t worry, you won’t be alone!

Stay tuned for Part II, where I discuss sleeping pills versus natural remedies, you WON’T want to miss it!

Contact me if you’d like to discuss your health further.