Sleep: Why Is Sleep Important?
Many issues can keep a busy mom wide awake at night. But whether you are young or old, you need to get the proper amount of quality sleep each night to keep your mind and body at optimal performance. And catching up on weekends doesn't cut it -- your body continually needs adequate sleep.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a lack of sleep can affect people in numerous ways, including the following:
- Decreased alertness
- Irritability and impatience
- Difficulty concentrating
- Decreased reaction time
- Decreased productivity at work
- Impaired memory
The Mayo Clinic also warns, "Long-term sleep deprivation can affect your physical and mental health. Sleep helps bolster your immune system so that you can fight off viruses and bacteria. After a few nights of absolutely no sleep, some people begin hallucinating." In addition, when you're not properly rested, you're more prone to falling asleep while driving and causing other accidents that may harm yourself or others.
To help yourself get a full, beneficial night's sleep, the Mayo Clinic recommends the following:
- Maintain a sleep schedule, even through the weekends
- Don't go to bed on a full stomach, and limit beverages before bedtime
- Avoid stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine
- Exercise regularly (particularly in the afternoon, but not too near bedtime)
- Sleep in a cool room and if needed, use either a dehumidifier or humidifier to adjust the humidity of your room to a comfortable level
- Sleep primarily at night instead of relying on naps to get by (limit naps to less than one hour and before 3 p.m.)
- Create a quiet atmosphere by turning off the TV and radio, and if needed, using a fan or earplugs to drown out other sounds
- Choose a good bed that is comfortable
- Take a hot bath or shower before bed to help relax your muscles
- Be cautious of sleeping pills -- they may interact with existing medication and are only meant for short-term use
Source: Mayo Clinic
Medical information within this site is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of any health condition. Please consult a licensed health care professional for the treatment or diagnosis of any medical condition.
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