Wake-up call: Sufficient sleep is a necessity

Sleep

By pH health care professionals

When you think of living a “healthy” lifestyle, what comes to mind?

It seems exercise and nutrition get all the praise. But what about sleep?

In a fast-paced society that places productivity above all else, sleep is sometimes associated with laziness. Or it’s seen as a luxury. But it is just as critical as the food you put in your body.

Getting sufficient sleep isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. It seems sleep-deprived Americans are in desperate need of a wake-up call.

Why sleep matters

The CDC says getting fewer than seven hours a night is associated with greater likelihoods of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, frequent mental distress and death.

Without enough sleep, your brain can’t function as well. And the community at large is affected, potentially with more medical errors, transportation accidents and less productivity.

You’re not the only one

Chronic yawners, you’re not alone. The CDC analyzed data of 444,306 adults in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and found:

  • 65.2 percent reported a healthy sleep duration (seven hours of more). The age-adjusted prevalence of healthy sleep was lower among non-Hispanic blacks, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders, and multiracial respondents, compared with non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics, and Asians.
  • 23 percent reported getting six hours of sleep per night.
  • 11.8 percent reported getting five hours or less per night.

Be proactive

The CDC recommends education as the first line of defense against sleep deficiency. More people need to understand the importance of getting enough sleep each night. It also may be helpful to set a pattern of going to bed and waking at the same times each day, ensuring your sleep environment is dark and relaxing, removing distractions such as mobile devices or TVs from your bedroom, and avoiding large meals, caffeine or alcohol before bedtime. Find more suggestions here.

If think you may be experiencing insomnia or sleep apnea, talk to a health care professional to get to the root of the issue so you can enjoy your life with eyes wide open.

Enjoy Your Healthy Life!

The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. To learn more about the pH Health Care Team, click here.

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