When the topic of living a healthier lifestyle comes up with patients in Dr. Sasan Massachi’s office, patients are often talking about changing their diet and exercise regimen. While these are of course important elements to a healthier lifestyle, few people understand how important sleep is to be healthier and happier.
Getting a good night’s sleep can have a positive impact on memory, immune health, mood, weight loss, and more. There is no organ or function of the body that can not benefit from a good night’s sleep.
For patients interested in weight loss, skipping sleep or getting a poor quality of sleep not only is detrimental to the body’s ability to lose excess weight but can also be a risk factor for diabetes. Although there is no one size fits all formula for how long a person needs to sleep to see health benefits, studies have shown that routinely getting six or more hours per night can be the difference between reducing the number on the scale or not.
Another reason to snooze longer for weight loss is the more time spent sleeping the less cortisol the body will produce. Cortisol is a hormone linked to stress and increased appetite.
The immune system is what keeps us healthy and helps us fight off infections and illnesses. When the immune system is compromised, the body is at high risk. The building blocks that fortify the immune system are called cytokines. Cytokine production is at its peak when we sleep. Even introducing short naps can help reinforce your immune system and keep you healthier.
Although most of us have experienced how a sleepless night has affected our mood, there is more to sleep than just getting a few winks. In order to be restorative to physical and mental health, sleep needs to be good quality. Quality sleep has a few markers, the most important being consistency. It’s important to establish and stick to a sleep schedule where possible.
Along the same vein of consistency, it's important that environmental conditions be conducive for good sleep. Reducing the blue light of electronics and making sure your bedroom is a comfortable temperature all play a role in getting quality sleep.
For more information on how Dr. Massachi can help you to monitor and improve your overall health make an appointment today by calling 301-553-3013