One of the most common questions I ask my clients is “How is your sleep?” to which I usually get one or two answers. “Good,” or “I don’t have time to sleep.”
DON’T HAVE TIME TO SLEEP?!
But it’s sleep! We all need it.
Don’t get me wrong; there are those folks who really value their sleep and make sure that they are getting enough. But there are others that simply don’t have the time and others that make the time and just don’t sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation as many as 60% of people report having trouble getting to sleep, staying asleep, or don’t have enough time to sleep.
So why the big deal? The benefits of sleep are numerous and some are listed below.
Less Pain – if you suffer with pain, studies show that after a decent night’s sleep, most people feel less pain.
Better Sex Life – Think back to a time when you didn’t get enough sleep – did that put you in the mood? Probably not.
Lower Risk of Injury – The Institute of Medicine estimates that one out of five auto accidents in the U.S. results from drowsy driving – that’s about 1 million crashes a year.
Better Mood – Getting enough sleep does not guarantee that you are going to always be in a great mood, but when you’re overtired, you’re more likely to snap at your family and co-workers, burst into tears or start laughing uncontrollably.
Weight Control – Less sleep means more noshing on high sugar high calorie eating to keep yourself awake but the crash afterward can make you even more tired and add weight.
Stronger Immunity – In a study, researchers tracked over 150 people and monitored their sleep habits. Then they exposed them to a cold virus. People who got 7 hours of sleep or less were almost 3 times as likely to get sick. Whereas those that slept 8 or more hours of sleep did not get sick. Lack of sleep can tucker out your immune system too!
Conversely, lack of sleep can cause the following problems:
- Accidental death
- Impaired brain activity
- Cognitive dysfunction
- Lowered immunity
- Type II diabetes
- Lack of sex drive
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Weight gain
So if you’re not getting enough sleep, for whatever reason, please let your doctor know and he or she will be happy to guide you to a better night’s sleep. Again there are many different reasons for not sleeping, but I for one would rather you slept a good 8 hours per night – especially if you’re out there driving!