Sleep! An Underrated Component of a Healthy Lifestyle

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Sleep! An Underrated Component of a Healthy Lifestyle

Most of us have been in a situation where we could not sleep. Usually, the reasons are justified: maybe you had to pull an all-nighter to finish a paper in college or you have a newborn at home that keeps you up. Regardless of the reason behind the sleep deprivation, we are all used to the characteristic feeling of fatigue and irritability that persists throughout the next day. Most of us just brush it off as a necessary cost that we must pay in order to better manage our daily lives. 

However, did you know that the lack of consistent adequate sleep can lead to some serious health issues?

Lack of adequate sleep has been linked to increased pain, anxiety or depression, weakened immune system, and slower recovery time following exercise. This is because your body is still hard at work while you sleep: your immune system produces special cells that combat inflammation, your muscles and other connective tissues work to repair themselves, and your brain gets time to process memories and regulate emotions. When your body cannot function effectively due to lack of sleep you are more likely to experience an increase in pain, anxiety, and more. 

How can you tell if you are getting enough sleep? 

One of the most important factors is the length of time that you spend sleeping. The average person should aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night in order to give your body enough time to fully relax and recover. The quality of sleep also plays an important role. Some key factors that affect sleep quality include the length of time it takes you to fall asleep, how restful your sleep is, and the amount of time in REM and deep sleep. While the science behind these factors can be complex, there are many gadgets on the market today that are aimed at tracking your sleep. At Ospina Medical, several of our staff use the Oura ring. The Oura ring not only tracks the quantity and quality of your sleep at night but it also tracks your activity and your overall readiness throughout the day and gives you a readiness score. Your readiness score factors in your activity and sleep scores as well as other stress signals from your body. It is a powerful tool to regulate your sleep schedule, as well as provide some insight regarding your overall activity and recovery. If you want to learn more about the Oura ring, visit their website here! ( ).

How can you improve your quality of sleep?

Now that we talked about why sleep is important, next we need to address how to best promote a good night’s sleep. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep there are many strategies that you can use to help you relax and prepare your body and mind to go to bed. The first step to a good night’s sleep is setting up a bedtime routine and being consistent with it. While everyone’s routine is different, some good practices are meditating before bed, turning off electronics, reading for 10-20 minutes, or doing gentle yoga stretches. The more consistent you are with your sleep schedule, the better and more energized you will feel throughout the day. Finally, supplements can be helpful in aiding your sleep if you need some extra help dozing off at night. Some common supplements that are used for sleep are melatonin and magnesium. Melatonin is a hormone that your body naturally produces but taking an additional supplement can help for those who have difficulty falling asleep, while magnesium helps promote relaxation and stress reduction which aids in restful sleep. If you want to order some supplements for yourself check out Thorne supplements here! ( ).

In Conclusion

March 18 is World Sleep Day and occurs every year on the Friday before the Spring Equinox. Considering that the average person spends about 26 years of their lives sleeping, it is important for everyone to take their sleep seriously in order to maximize the benefits of healthy lifestyle sleep

Author: Ospina Medical Team

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.