Healthy Sleep: 5 Medical Conditions Improved by Good Sleep Habits
There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep. It recharges and revitalizes you, making you feel better both mentally and physically. Sleep is vital to your good health, but did you know that it can actually prevent certain medical conditions?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about a third of adults in the United States do not enough sleep each night. Sleep is a problem in our society today. People tend to be more stressed and often have more on their plate than they can handle. And when people are sleep deprived, health issues are soon to follow.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Learn more about healthy sleep and the medical conditions it helps to prevent.
6 Characteristics of Healthy Sleep
Many people have gone so long with poor sleep habits they don’t even know what healthy sleep looks like. These are the most common traits of good sleep. If all or most of these describe you, then you are probably on the right track.
But, if there are some that aren’t true for you, it may be time to take a harder look at your routines and behaviors - and make a few changes.
Think about your sleep habits and see if they match these good sleep characteristics:
Benefits of Healthy Sleep
Getting good quality sleep every night does wonder for your stress level. This, in turn, affects your mood, weight loss, and even inflammation in your body. Sleep helps to boost your memory and learning. It allows damaged tissues to heal and helps to flush out toxins from the brain.
The more stressed you are, the higher the level of stress hormones you have in your body. These hormones increase inflammation in your body, causing you to feel more pain. Some researchers claim that inflammation speeds up the natural aging process.
When you have good quality sleep, you aren't as likely to have to contend with all that. You may experience stress, but it doesn't get to you as badly as some. Better quality sleep means a better quality of life.
5 Medical Conditions Improved by Good Sleep Habits
Poor sleep increases your risk for a host of health issues including depression, anxiety, and obesity. But, there are also chronic conditions that can occur.
An article in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found a direct link between sleep and cardiovascular disease. Those who did not get a good sleep are more prone to experiencing a cardiac event.
A 2017 study found that there is large supporting evidence to suggest that sleep deprivation and circadian disruption increases a person's risk of breast cancer.
Poor sleep can cause problems in all parts of your body. In one study, it showed a correlation between sleep restriction and an increased risk of developing diabetes. Subjects who did not get enough sleep experienced high resistance to insulin which can lead to diabetes.
A 2018 article published in Sleep Habits found that sleep disorders are directly connected to migraine. It showed that people who don't get good quality sleep at night are more prone to trigger a migraine attack. In fact, lack of sleep is one of the most common migraine triggers.
Studies show that poor quality of sleep or inadequate sleep are associated with elevated blood pressure. Over the long term, this can lead to hypertension and chronic high blood pressure
How to get a Good Night’s Sleep?
There is no shortage of information on how to get a good night’s sleep, but it only works if you put it into practice. Try these five tips for a more restful slumber.
- 1Turn off your electronic devices (this included the TV). The light coming from your computer or smartphone screen tricks your brain into believing that it is daytime, and you should be awake. When this happens, your brain does not produce melatonin, the sleep hormone, and you find yourself wide awake, staring into your screen at 2 am.
- 2Turn your bedroom into a sleep-inducing environment. Your bedroom should inspire sleep, so make it into a sleep haven with a few adjustments. Lower the lights, use lined curtains to keep the light out and drop the temperature. If noise is a problem, use a white noise machine, fan, or invest in some good earplugs.
- 3Avoid caffeine before bedtime. Some people can have caffeine a couple of hours before bed and do fine. Others can't have any caffeinated products afternoon. Find out where you fall. You may have to try several different nights before you find out what works for you.
- 4Keep non-sleep related activities out of your bedroom. Anything that isn't related to sleep should not be in your bedroom. This means to move the television elsewhere. Don't do work in bed and if you have a disagreement with your spouse, don't carry the tension into your bedroom.
- 5Try a little lavender. The lavender essential oil is excellent for inducing sleep. You can wash your sheets in lavender detergent (Mrs. Meyers makes a great one). You can also put a few drops of lavender oil in a spray bottle filled with water for a chemical-free fabric refresher. A diffuser adds a nice touch too.
Healthy sleep is important! Don't skimp on your health and definitely don't skimp on your sleep.
Find out what's keeping you awake and find ways to cut or resolve it. Your mind and body need that time to rest, rejuvenate, and heal. Be kind to yourself; get some sleep.
Stephanie A. Mayberry is the content manager and social media strategist for Axon Optics. She is a professional freelance writer and photographer as well as the author of many books.