We’ve all heard someone, many people, make the joke, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” They are usually saying it with an extra large, extra strong cup of coffee in their hands. We all laugh when they say it, because everyone today knows what it means to be sleep deprived. Unfortunately, the fact is, if you don’t get the proper amount and proper type of sleep, you are basically sending yourself to an early grave. Sound like an extreme statement? Then you don’t understand the importance of sleep.
According to Seema Bonney, M.D., of the Anti-Aging and Longevity Center of Philadelphia, sleep is vital. When speaking of sleep, Dr. Bonney says, “It’s something you need to optimize in order to improve your healthspan, and therefore your lifespan.” In order to optimize your sleep, you need to look at the why, when, and how much of your sleep. Start with making sure you understand why it’s so important. The health benefits of getting enough sleep include:
- Getting sick less often
- Staying at a healthy weight
- Lowering your risk for serious health problems, like diabetes and heart disease
- Reducing stress and improving your mood
- Thinking more clearly and performing better
- Getting along better with people, having better relationships
- Making good decisions
- Avoiding injuries
Does it matter when you sleep? Actually, it matters a lot. Your internal clock helps you stay awake during the day and get sleepy at night. It’s why travel can sometimes mess up your sleeping patterns. People’s difficulties with their internal clock and their inability to sleep have launched a full industry of sleep aids. Loose a couple of nights sleep and you’ll understand why. For those whose work interferes with their sleep, research has found that shift work is linked to not only trouble with sleeping habits. It’s also associated with an increased risk of heart attacks, ulcers, depression, obesity, and high blood pressure, among other major health risks.
While the exact amount of sleep needed for health will differ from person to person, generally speaking the average person usually sleeps between 7-9 hours per night. Be sure to note here that we’re talking about time spent sleeping, not time spent in bed. A good night’s sleep will include four sleep stages – Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3, and the REM stage. Each stage involves a different bodily process and contributes differently to that well rested feeling you can, but don’t always. experience in the morning.
Sleep and Longevity
Lastly, if you think going through a bad patch where you don’t get enough sleep is without repercussions, think again. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network, “Habitual sleep duration is consistently associated with many domains of overall health and functioning. Although the amount of sleep essential for optimal functioning and health may be difficult to ascertain at the individual level, more than 50 years of converging findings have demonstrated that sleeping too little or too much is associated with increased morbidity and mortality.” Other studies show that human longevity is associated with regular sleep patterns. And there you have it.
So, first, get a good night’s sleep. Then find a 100 Year Lifestyle provider near you to help you pursue a good night’s rest and a healthy lifestyle so that you can claim your birthright of healthy longevity for yourself and your loved ones! Remember, 100:100, 100% for 100 year or more!