Sleep is the often sacrificed, essential bodily function that has a lasting impact on your overall physical and mental health.
It can be hard to put aside the time in our busy lives for a good night’s sleep. Outside responsibilities can be overwhelming and to combat the chaos many of us make our days longer just to get everything done. Whether we wake up early, go to sleep late, or both, many of us aren’t getting the recommended minimum hours of healthy sleep.
Why We Need Sleep?
Throughout the day our brains work hard to take in an enormous amount of information. During sleep we process this information from our short-term memory to our long-term memory. Sleep deprivation makes it harder to focus, pay attention and retain information we learn during the day.
Our bodies also need sleep to grow and repair our muscles and tissues, boost our immune systems and produce necessary hormones.
How Many Hours Do I Really Need?
Healthy sleep plays a critical role in overall health. Researchers recommend that adults need at least seven hours of sleep per night.
Good quality sleep and consistent sleep habits are also important. Healthy sleep routines allow us to meet our sleep needs and function better the next day. It’s important to consider what time you need to wake up in the morning and plan an appropriate time to get ready for bed.
Think about shutting down electronic devices at least one hour before bed. Putting down our phones can be hard, but the light our devices emit make it harder for our mind and body to fall asleep.
Also avoid late night sugary and caffeinated snacks and beverages before bed. Moderating your consumption of caffeine and other stimulants is part of a healthy sleep routine.
My Partner Says I Snore. Do I Need Help?
Maybe. Snoring, that noisy breathing that makes it tough on your bed partner to get a good night’s sleep, also can influence your overall health. Snoring disrupts your own sleep and can lead to health complications down the road.
Snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea and other sleep related disorders. Other signs include:
- Morning headaches
- Gasping for air during sleep
- Not being able to sleep through the night
- Feeling tired throughout the day
- Not feeling well rested in the morning
- Waking up with a dry or sore throat
Snoring and some of the signs above can occur occasionally from allergies or clogged sinuses, but if you are a regular snorer or are experiencing any of the signs above consistently you should consult your doctor and let them know about your sleep issues. You may benefit from a sleep clinic consultation.
The Long Beach Adult & Pediatric Sleep Center at MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center has been evaluating patients with sleep related breathing disorders since 1986. Our center provides expert evaluation and treatment recommendations utilizing advanced diagnostic equipment. To schedule a sleep study or learn more about sleep call 800-MEMORIAL.