Thanksgiving is around the corner, which means now is a good time to think about all the things we can be grateful for. Being healthy is definitely a good reason to be thankful, but that sometimes seem out of our control. Sleep is something else we can be thankful for, but it is often minimalized or discounted.
Sleeping well is the foundation of good health. Why not take Thanksgiving as an opportunity to recognize sleep as a blessing, take advantage of it, and start strengthening your health?
You deserve rest, and these are some of the benefits to your body and mind that you can be thankful for if you get good quality sleep.
1. Better heart health
Researchers have found that sleeping less than 7 hours every night can increase the chances of developing heart problems, including stroke and heart attacks. This is because insomnia and similar disorders cause high blood pressure.
2. Improved ability to cope with stress
Stress can be hugely damaging to our health, as it causes spikes in blood pressure and sends body and mind into overdrive. Resting consistently every night can counter the effects of stress and make you more resistant to its negative effects.
3. Help in preventing mood disorders
Not being able to rest well disrupts the production of hormones like serotonin, and low serotonin has been linked to a higher incidence of depression. Serotonin deficiencies can also trigger other mood disorders, like anxiety, low self-esteem, and irritability.
4. Letting your body take care of itself
Slumber is essential for the body to repair itself. While you’re asleep, your body produces proteins that interact with cells to repair them overnight and ensure you wake up with enough strength to face the day ahead.
5. Maintaining a healthy weight
We’ve already mentioned how sleeping problems have a negative impact on hormones. And since our weight is partly regulated by hormones like leptin and ghrelin, sleeping well every night can help with your weight management plan.
6. Protection against certain types of cancer
Exposure to blue light is one of the reasons why people have trouble getting a good rest at night. This type of light is emitted by electronic devices like mobile phones and lowers melatonin levels. Melatonin doesn’t only help you get a better nightly rest, it also plays a key role preventing breast and colon cancer.
7. Better focus and concentration
Sleeping well can boost your brain’s health and functioning. A tired brain has trouble concentrating and retaining information, so getting the right amount of sleep can help you stay productive at work and keep your memory and attention to detail in optimal condition.
Count your blessings
It’s clear that resting soundly every night can bring enormous health benefits, and this is something to be grateful for. But what if you have trouble sleeping or think you may have a more serious disorder? If you snore at night, and wake up every day feeling tired, with a headache, or with a dry mouth, you may have a condition called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
OSA causes interruptions in your breathing while you are asleep, and these reduce the amount of oxygen reaching the body and brain, which can lead to serious health problems. It’s important to seek the advice of a specialist, since almost 80% of all obstructive sleep apnea cases go undiagnosed.
Don’t wait any longer to focus on your sleep. Our sleep specialists are experienced in helping people sleep better and feel better. Contact us to find out more.
Maybe next Thanksgiving you’ll be thankful for sleep and health!