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Importance of Sleep!

SLEEP! One of my favorite things!

Do you make getting at least 7+ hours of sleep each night a priority? Or do you stay up late watching tv, reading, working or doing chores?

We all know that sleep is important and it can have far reaching effects on our mood, memory and overall health.

John Hopkins University points out some surprising statistics related to sleep deprivation and its affect on us:

  • Adults have a 50% higher risk for obesity if you get less than 5 hours of sleep nightly

  • Not enough sleep leads to higher levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and lower levels of the appetite-control hormone leptin. This can increase cravings for sweet, salty and starchy foods

  • Lack of sleep can lead to a 33% increase in dementia risk,

  • Little sleep has shown to increase the risk of high blood pressure

  • Low amounts of sleep can cause lower your immune system meaning you could be 3 times more likely to catch a cold

So what are some tips to get a good night’s rest?

  1. Set a goal of 7-8 hours of sleep. Even though you're an adult, a bedtime can help you reach your sleep goal.

  2. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Consistency reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle making it easier for you to fall asleep and wake up on your own.

  3. Pay attention to what you eat and drink before bed. Nicotine, caffeine or alcohol can disrupt sleep even if you think it doesn't effect you or makes you sleep better. They drastically decrease your sleep quality.

  4. Create a calming environment. High temperatures, light, and sounds can cause you to not get comfortable and prevent you from getting a good night sleep. Have a cool, dark and quiet room! That means no TV playing!

  5. Regular physical activity. This will ensure that you are ready for a good night sleep by exerting all of your restless energy and make you excited to see your bed each night. See you at the box!

  6. If you don’t fall asleep quickly, don’t let the anxiety of being unable to fall asleep contribute to insomnia. Read a book for a while. Taking your mind off of having to fall asleep will allow you to relax and drift off.

- Author: Heather M.

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