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Have Your Good Sleep

by Jennifer Gumba

Sleep, we all love it, especially when you wake up from a great night’s sleep. In the past, sleep was often ignored by doctors and surrounded by myths, but now we are beginning to understand the importance of sleep to overall health and well-being. In fact, when people get less than 6 or 7 hours of sleep each night, their risk for developing diseases begins to increase.

Did you know that adults need 7-9 hours of sleep to stay healthy every night? Most people get far less than this on average, and the lack of sleep can take a toll on your body and mind. It may also help you stay well if you’re exposed to other viruses, such as colds and the flu.

Researchers have discovered that during sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines which can help you deal with stress, fight infections and decrease inflammation in the body. When you don’t get enough sleep, these protective proteins and other important infection-fighting cells are reduced.

Below are the Health Benefits of Good Sleep:

1. Sleep Keeps Your Heart Healthy
2. Sleep May Prevent Cancer
3. Sleep Reduces Stress
4. Sleep Reduces Inflammation
5. Sleep Makes You More Alert
6. Sleep Bolsters Your Memory
7. Sleep May Help You Lose Weight
8. Naps Make You Smarter
9. Sleep May Reduce Your Risk for Depression
10. Sleep Helps the Body Make Repairs

Your body needs adequate sleep to fight infections and inflammation. Long-term lack of sleep can not only put you at risk for a weaker immune system, but can also increase your risk for other chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Lack of sleep can also affect your mind. Sleep helps you rest your mind and prepare for a new day of activity, memories and experiences. If you’re not able to sleep well on a regular basis, you may find that you have trouble with memory and concentration. You may also have more anxiety and low emotions.

Here are recommend 7 steps to healthy sleep:

• Be consistent with your sleep schedule
• Pay attention to what you eat and drink before bedtime
• Create a bedtime routine
• Be comfortable for sleeping
• Limit napping during the day
• Get some physical activity every day
• Manage your stress

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