Sleep as part of a Healthy Lifestyle

Carolyn Guilford
Carolyn Guilford

Sleep is absolutely one of the most essential habits of good health. You really can’t be in the best possible health unless you are sleeping well, and getting enough sleep. We all have too much to do, but taking time to recharge ourselves by getting a good night’s sleep can make all the difference in how productive we are the next day, and in preserving our health long-term.

Sleeping five hours or less each night has been shown over time to increase ones risk of developing diabetes, according to the journal: Diabetes Care. However recent research at Columbia University’s Dept of Health Sciences shows that Longterm sleep deprivation increases the risk of a variety of major illnesses including, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Cancer, Heart Disease, Stroke, Depression, and Obesity.

On the good side, getting adequate sleep boosts the immune system and fights the ageing process with hormones we can only benefit from if we are asleep by 10 PM, and to optimize adrenal function.

Here are ten tips to help you get the sleep you need and deserve:

Maintain a regular bedtime and wake time schedule, including weekends.

Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bath or hot tub and then reading a book or listening to soothing music.C

reate an environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool, for sleep.

Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows. Use your bedroom only for sleep and rest. It is best to take work materials, computers and televisions out of the sleeping environment.

Finish eating two to three hours before your regu- lar bedtime.

Exercise regularly. It is best to complete your workout a few hours before bedtime. Avoid all tobacco products. Used close to bedtime, they can lead to poor sleep.

Avoid caffeine in coffee, tea, soft drinks, and chocolate close to bedtime. It can keep you awake.

Avoid alcohol close to bedtime. It can lead to disrupted sleep later in the night.

We recommend getting seven to nine hours of sleep nightly, but there’s no one formula that’s right for everybody. The best indication is how rested and renewed you feel during the day.

Studies show that if you’re healthy, you’ll probably sleep well. And if you sleep well, you’re likely to stay healthy.

Remember, Health is a Choice. If you have any comments or questions about health issues we’ve covered in this column, or an issue you’d like addressed, please call or write to:

Carolyn Guilford

P.O. Box 2814, Savannah,

GA 31402 912) 236-8987

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