Getting enough high quality sleep is as important to health and well being as nutrition and exercise. Not only will getting proper zzz's help you perform better on a test, learn a new skill, or keep you alert while driving, but it is also a critical factor in weight control and energy level. Sleep and weight gain have been linked. Insufficient sleep causes changes in hormones like ghrelin ( causing increase in appetite ) and leptin ( tells you when you are full ) the result being that sleep deprived people tend to feel hungry and consume more than those well rested. Nutrients especially found in a range of plant based whole foods provide a particular benefit to better sleep. An adult should be getting a minimum of 7- 8 hours of sleep every night and feel refreshed upon wakening.
Whether someone is electively sleep deprived ( just not scheduling enough sleep ) or is clinically sleep deprived due to a sleep disorder it can seriouslly affect your health. There are over 89 different sleep disorders including Sleep Apnea in which a person's airway closes down causing interrupted sleep. Sleep Apnea is not just an annoying energy drain. It has been proven to contribute to life threatening conditions such as high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer's. An estimated 18 million Americans have Sleep Apnea. Once diagnosed it can be treated reversing the health risks.
---Do you snore ?
---Do you have daytime sleepiness ?
---Has anyone ever witnessed you gasping or stop breathing while you sleep ?
---Do you wake up several times a night ?
---Have you ever dosed off while driving ?
---Are you 'tired of being tired' even after getting 7 plus hours of sleep ?
If you answered yes to any of these questions it is important to see your Physican or a Sleep specialist to be sleep tested to identify possible sleep disorders and get the appropriate treatment including CPAP therapy, oral appliance therapy, or surgery.
WHAT'S A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP WORTH ?