Sleep is as vital to our health as oxygen, and it is often over looked as a primary factor in overall well being. Unfortunately most of us are not getting the appropriate amount of sleep for optimum function.
Sleep is a heightened anabolic state – accentuating the growth and rejuvenation of the immune, nervous, and musculoskeletal systems. Studies have shown mammals that get adequate sleep have a 20% higher white blood cell count than those who don’t. In a study measuring growth hormone, men who slept 8 hours per night had a 24% increase in the secretion of the hormone than those sleeping more or less. This factor is critical for healing from disease as well as building and maintaining lean muscle mass.
There is such a thing as too much sleep, and too little sleep. A study of over 1 million adults has found that those individuals who live the longest report sleeping for six to seven hours each night. Other studies show that sleeping more than 7 to 8 hours per night is associated with increased mortality. Lack of sleep can more than double the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and too much sleep can also be associated with a doubling of the risk of death.
Other consequences of chronic sleep deprivation include:
Type 2 Diabetes
Impaired immune function
Do you have a schedule laid out each day that breaks down and accounts for every hour you are awake? Making sure you accomplish necessary tasks throughout the day will decrease stress-induced insomnia.
Make sure you regularly have your immune system checked for interference by your 22 Health doctor. Since the immune system plays a critical role in the establishment of our circadian rhythm (aka biological clock) it must be free of interference.
Are you consuming adequate healthy fats and necessary 2:1 ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids? Are you consuming an abundance of nutrient-dense vegetables? Eliminating sugar and grains can improve your ability to sleep. Stay away from big meals at night – the digestive process can hinder your body’s ability to get into a state of deep sleep.
Research has shown that people who get regular exercise tend to have less issues falling asleep and staying asleep.
Medications can alter the body’s ability to secrete adequate amounts of the sleep hormone melatonin. They also can interrupt the circadian rhythm that is critical for proper sleep.
For more information on how to live a healthy life, visit a 22 Health Doctor in Your Area