There have been quite a few articles and podcasts about sleep this week, likely related to the fact that this is Sleep Awareness Week.
Have you ever wondered:
Why is sleep important?
How much sleep do we need?
What are some tips for healthy sleep habits?
We wondered the same thing which is why we attempted to touch on a few of these topics during last weekend’s Sunday Seedling (Season 2, Episode 5).
Why do we sleep?
Sleep is an essential function that allows your body and mind to recharge, leaving you refreshed and alert when you wake up. Lack of sleep can contribute to difficulty with weight management and metabolic issues such as diabetes and hypertension.
If you want to know more about why we sleep, please read some of the work by Dr. Matthew Walker. You can find a link to his book and website in the references below.
How much sleep do we need?
Good question. There are no official national guidelines for sleep, but several organizations have developed recommendations. Sleep requirements change as we age. The National Sleep Foundation and the CDC recommend that school age children require 9-11 hours of sleep. Healthy adults and seniors require 7 - 9 hours of sleep.
I know some of you are saying “I don’t need that much sleep.” I used to wear a lack of sleep like a badge of honor yet there were days when I could fall asleep at the stoplight on my drive home. As I have changed my sleep habits I have been amazed at the impact on my mood, energy, and clarity.
Are there any tips for a good night’s sleep? Yes!
Turn off your electronics 1 - 2 hours before bedtime. This sound too hard? Ok, start with 30 minutes 😊
Get outdoors during the day and get your dose of sunshine
Avoid eating too close to bedtime
Watch your consumption of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol
Keep the room cool and dark at night
Develop a nighttime routine; this will start to condition your mind and body that bedtime is coming, and you can start to wind down.
Sleep is SO important. I hope our Sunday Seedling whet your appetite to learn more about why sleep is important to your health. Please take a few minutes to look at some of the references below.
Medical illnesses and medications may impact your sleep. If you are having issues with sleep that you think may be related to your health, please speak with your primary care provider or other healthcare practitioner.
Why We Sleep: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1501144316
Why We Sleep (Dr. Matthew Walker): https://youtu.be/aXflBZXAucQ
Sleep is Your Superpower (Dr. Matthew Walker): https://youtu.be/5MuIMqhT8DM
Lifestyle Medicine Handbook, 2019: https://www.bethfratesmd.com/books
How much sleep do you need?
Non-Sleep Deep Rest
General Sleep References
You can also enjoy Sunday Seedlings on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts & Amazon Music.