The health benefits of sleep are numerous, and is a very important subject when it comes to maintaining a heathy lifestyle. Recent estimate puts it that about half of the total world’s adults population do not get enough sleep and this message is amplified in Cosmopolitan Cities of developing Countries like Lagos, Accra amongst others where many have to wake up as early at 3a.m. in order to get set in time to commute to work and in many cases do not get back till about 11 p.m. at night.
According to the dictionary, Sleep could simply be defined as a periodic state of rest for the mind and body in which the eyes are shut and consciousness totally or partially lost with resultant decrease in bodily movement and responsiveness to external stimuli.
Sleep is indispensable as the body gets rid of certain types of toxic waste metabolites during sleep and also repairs worn-out and damaged tissues. It has been observed that those that are sleep deprived usually take longer periods to get wounds healed than those who sleep optimally. It is also an established fact that optimal sleep is required for long life, creativity, scholastic abilities, and sharp attention span amongst others.
Most professional recommend a total of 7-9 hours of sleep for adults for optimal health as research has shown that lack of sleep has been associated with a sharply increase in risk for cardiovascular disease, obesity, hypertension and type II diabetes. On the other hand, too much sleep can also be associated with a doubling of the risk of death although not from cardiovascular causes.
Below are several tips helpful in improving sleep quality
- Having a regular time for going to bed and waking up
- Ensuring the bed is used only for sleep (maybe sex too) and not for other activities such as reading, eating and watching the television
- Avoiding heavy meals before bedtime
- Engaging in light exercise before bed time
- Taking a cool bath before going to bed as it helps lower the body temperature
- Avoid napping during the day
- Stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and other substance of abuse such as cocaine, amphetamines and benzodiazepines are all known to reduce sleep quality
- A soothing pre sleep routine such as breathing exercise go a long way to help in the initiation of sleep
- Reporting difficulties such as snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, night walking etc. to your healthcare professional for optimal treatment
- Should you encounter difficulties sleeping at night? Try drinking a cup of milk. It has always worked for me
I hope this post on the health benefits of sleep have been helpful?
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Picture Source: Wikipedia