By Elizabeth Tarufelli
Nurse Practitioner, Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, approximately 40 million people in the United States have sleep problems.
Students and faculty, do you recall staying up late to study for an exam or prepare for a class or an event? If you found yourself lacking in the memory department the next day, it was because sleep is essential to maintaining a healthy ability to build and retain long term memory.
The average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep daily. If you are in a deficit with sleep, you are susceptible to decreased mental and physical well-being and decreased immune response. Your work and school performance declines, and your mood is negatively affected.
If you are trying to catch up on your sleep, it is recommended that you take a short nap during the day. But this catch-up must be obtained 24 hours from the loss of sleep time in order to be effective.
Summer is almost here, and it is the season filled with counting your carbs and calories. If you can’t seem to lose weight, maybe you shouldn’t just count calories – you also should count your hours of sleep to ensure that they are within the recommendations for optimal results. Elevated cortisol levels can increase weight and put one at risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Helpful hints for a good night’s rest:
- Avoid all caffeine products after 6 p.m.
- Keep your bedroom free of computers, tablets, phones and televisions
- Develop and maintain a pre-bedtime relaxing routine (e.g., reading, bathing, meditating
- Never go to bed with a full belly