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Why Getting Enough Sleep is as Important as Eating Right

Main health effects of sleep deprivation (See ...

Main health effects of sleep deprivation.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is no question that eating the right amount of the right kinds of food is foundational to good health.  Even though there are many of us who struggle to do it, we all know that a healthy diet is part of maintaining good health.  What many of us don’t know is that getting enough quality sleep is just as important to achieving and maintaining good health.  We also live in a society that doesn’t treat sleep as a priority.  If many of us struggle to eat healthily in a society where being overweight is unacceptable, what hope can we have to get enough sleep when society downgrades its importance, seeing it as a luxury or something to be sacrificed?

Sleep has a real impact on our overall health.  When we are sleep deprived it impacts everything from our physical body to our ability to function to our mental health.  We also feel the impact of sleep deprivation much faster than we feel the impact of poor food choices.  It only takes one night of lost sleep to impair our judgment equal to that of a drunk driver according to the National Sleep Foundation.  Studies have also shown that skipping sleep to cram for a test can actually result in a lower grade than just getting enough sleep because lack of sleep impairs cognitive functions like memory.

The bottom line is that getting enough sleep needs to be as high on your list as exercising and eating right.  To bring this point home, here are some of the reasons that getting the sleep your body needs is critical to getting healthy and staying healthy.

 

Immune System Impairment

During sleep, there is a lot going on in your body.  One of the most important things your body does while you are sleeping is boosting and improving your immune system.  If you don’t get enough sleep it degrades your immune system’s ability to function optimally making you more susceptible to illnesses of all types from the flu to cancer.

 

Mood and Mental Health Maintenance

The amount of sleep you get and your overall mood are very closely related.  Everyone knows that one of the surest signs that someone is overtired is that they are irritable and crabby.  Getting the sleep you need helps stabilize your mood while also decreasing the likelihood of some mental health conditions.  Research indicates that sleep deprivation increases your risk of some mental health conditions like depression.

 

Cardiovascular System Condition

We all know how important it is to promote and protect our cardiovascular health but not many of us realize the direct connection between cardiovascular health and sleep.  Not getting enough sleep can contribute to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular system conditions.  Researchers also believe that lack of sleep may increase the risk of dying from a heart attack.

 

Diabetes

Research cited by the National Sleep Foundation indicates that there is a link between hormonal changes resulting from sleep loss and an increased risk of developing type II diabetes.

 

 

 

Client Reviews
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"Great staff, they make you feel so at home. Every medical facility should be this nice. Felt like a nice hotel. Someone has great taste in decorating. Thanks for making us feel at home."


Steve N.


San Diego, CA

"I recommend them highly!! I took my 2 year old daughter for a sleep study and was very impressed. Our sleep technician was amazing with her, very patient and kind. The DVD we brought to watch while getting her hooked up got stuck in the TV and they vowed to return it. We got a call the next day checking on our daughter and saying how sweet she was, they mentioned the DVD. Several days later, we received the DVD plus a new copy of the Lion King with a nice note. They are very good at what they do and if they can make a 2 year old feel at ease, they can probably do the same with anyone!!"


Anthea S.


Tempe, AZ

"I was especially impressed with Andrew the Respiratory Therapist who reviewed my study with me and answered my questions. Andrew thoroughly explained everything about the Cpap machine-from start to finish. I never felt rushed and was assured I could contact him with any additional questions or needs. Andrew told me he would follow up with a call in a week and he did. I believe this center performed the study appropriately and the added benefit of having Andrew teach me about the machine and what to expect was a bonus."


Candace M.


Scottsdale, AZ