Sleep is a vital part of your overall health. It affects everything from your diet to your mental health to your physical health to your immune system. However, many people do not get enough sleep regularly, making it difficult for them to properly take care of themselves. If you don’t get sleep regularly, you will know this.
Here are some of the ways that sleep and health are linked, and how you can work to improve your sleep habits.
When you don’t sleep well, you tend to make food choices that are not as good as they could be. Our bodies tend to crave foods with higher carbohydrate and fat content, as opposed to what our systems actually need nutritionally. It can also lead you to buying more food than you actually need, which is bad for your budget and for your waistline. Eating poorly, or with poor habits, can also lead you to struggle to sleep.
If you are one of many people who have trouble with keeping their minds healthy, whether you suffer from anxiety and depression or something like bipolar disorder, lack of sleep will make you much more symptomatic and you’ll have a harder time dealing with those symptoms when you’re awake. Mental illness often exacerbates existing sleep issues by lowering the quality of your sleep, even when you were getting an excessive quantity of it. Medications that treat mental illness also can cause issues with, whether they make you wakeful or feel too tired to function. If you are on medication, talk to your doctor about changing the time that you take that medication to use its effects to your advantage when you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep.
Try to create a bedtime routine for yourself with a set bedtime and relaxing activities such as reading a book for meditating for 30 minutes to an hour before bed. You should stick to this routine as often as humanly possible for it to be as effective as you want it to be.
If you already struggle with immune system issues such as Hepatitis B or a suppressed immune system, sleep is even more important for you because the time while you are asleep is when your immune system does most of its recovering from the bacteria and viruses it encountered during the day. When you don’t sleep well, your body doesn’t have that time for the energy it needs to properly recover and protect you from these things that can make you sick. If you have chronic pain, you’ll find yourself feeling the pain less when you’re well rested than when you’ve slept well.
If you find yourself struggling to sleep on a regular basis, talk to your doctor about having some tests run to see if there is a medical cause behind your issues. Even if there is no medical reason behind your sleep struggles, they will also be able to help you make some lifestyle changes to improve your sleep quality in the long-term.
This is a guest post by Sleep Help Institute from https://www.sleephelp.org/