Quality of Sleep Linked to Major Diseases

sleep

CAREERXCHANGE (WELLNESS)

CXC’s new endeavor to bring you content rich in wellness and lifestyle tips for a healthy life, inside the office – and out.

 

The Power of Sleep:

It was fascinating to learn that only 1/3 of adults get the CDC’s recommended 7 hours of sleep and those who do get less sleep (which is most of us) have an increased risk of developing a variety of diseases (obesity, HBP, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease).

 

The reason sleep is so important in preventing these debilitating conditions is because it’s our brain’s way of replenishing itself after a long day of keeping us going. While we sleep, the neural connections responsible for all our bodily processes are strengthened and short term memories get converted to long term – a process called memory consolidation.

 

By depriving ourselves of sleep, we deprive our brains the chance to carry these processes out. Those who already have pre-existing conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, experience wild changes to their sleep patterns because of their disease and, oftentimes, advanced age.

Be proactive and reduce your risk NOW. There are a variety of ways to train your body for better sleep:

 

The Night Of:

  • Avoid that afternoon coffee break and any teas & sodas high in caffeine. Caffeine can stay in your system 6-14 hours after you drink
  • Have a light dinner and try not to have an alcoholic drink.
  • Keep your room at a chilly average of 68℉. (Sounds cold, we know – but it really does help!)
  • Turn off all electronics at least 90 mins before bed (a good trick is to keep them on the opposite side of the room so you’re not tempted to look). The blue light emitted from TV’s, phones, etc. suppresses the melatonin (sleep hormone) that causes your slumber.
    •  *PRO TIP:  If you must have your phone, try putting it on “night mode”

 

The Morning After:

  • Make your bed and have a balanced breakfast (make meals beforehand so you don’t skip).
  • Get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. By doing cardio 3-4 times a week, you can FALL asleep 54% faster and STAY asleep 37% longer. 

Looking for even more? Here’s a great article from the Huffington Post with even more tips for a great night’s rest: http://huff.to/1g3wV0N

 

 

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