Do you get enough sleep to actually be healthy, or don’t you know? Most people do not get enough sleep, and because of it, their health suffers. There are only a few people who truly understand the correlation between how much rest you get and the overall health of your body. When you do not get sufficient rest at night, it can decrease your overall health. Plus, it can make you susceptible to a decreased life expectancy and an increase of ailments during the course of your life. It is really important that you not only get enough rest each night, but also the right quality of rest.
It is not only important that your mind and body are sleeping each night, but that it is sleeping deeply enough to benefit you. Sleep is imperative to staying healthy, mindful, attentive, and focused. Without it, all of those things begin to fail. Your body should go through cycles while you rest at night. You will have deep cycles, called REM (rapid eye movement) where you dream. Then, you will have lighter cycles, called non-REM or sometimes called slow wave sleep. This is not when you dream, but rather, when your body is fully relaxed. Those cycles fluctuate at night, and you should have about five of each cycle throughout the night.
When you only lightly doze off, it is not allowing your body to get into these deeper cycles. This can impact your ability to focus and your mood when it is a short-term problem. However, the longer the problem goes on, the worse the effects become. If you go without getting enough restful hours in for long enough, it can actually leave you sick. Your body becomes unable to defend itself against outside invaders like bacteria and viruses. This could damage your immune system, and it can hurt the parts of your body affected by the ailments.
Your body does many different activities when you are sleeping. First, your body heals. When you are asleep, your body does its best healing. This means cuts and scrapes, broken bones, and even things like gingivitis are healed more effectively when you sleep. Getting enough sleep allows you to feel better, get sick less, and fight off ailments more effectively.
Another thing your body does while you are sleeping is to regulate your hormones. During the day, your hormones rise and lower depending on what is going on. However, during the night, those hormones get put into a proper balance. Without the right type of rest, your hormones can get out of sync, which can leave your body exposed to getting sick, or to problems with regulating itself properly.
Another thing that happens when you are sleeping is your brain gets cleaned out. This may sound odd, but it is accurate. When you are asleep, your body filters out any waste that accumulated in your brain during the day. If you are not sleeping enough, this waste can build up in your brain. Short-term, this can cause trouble remembering things or staying focused. However, over the long-term, there are researchers who believe this could lead to issues like Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Sleeping better is not something everyone can do in an instant. However, there are things you can do to try and help. First, if you struggle with sleeping, go in and see a medical professional. There may be a reason for your struggles. Some people suffer from insomnia, which you can typically treat with medication. Other people struggle with having too much stimulation at bedtime. This leads to them being wide awake when their body actually needs to rest. Things like this need to be addressed in the home. Removing devices like smartphones, televisions, computers, and tablets from the bedroom for the last hour before bed can help.
Some people also struggle to get the rest they need due to medical ailments, such as sleep apnea. If you have apnea, this makes it to where you stop breathing during the night randomly. This causes your body to wake itself instead of resting at that deeper level it needs. You can treat apnea, but you need to discover the cause prior to trying most types of treatment.
If you have a medical ailment, such as apnea, that disrupts your rest each night, get help for it. There are many medical professionals who have the ability to help. Get an official diagnosis, then seek out treatment once you know what is going on. For things like apnea, getting a device that holds your jaw in place can give you the deeper rest you need. It keeps your airway open, and lets you fall into deeper levels of sleep, and stay that way. Just because your body struggles to get the rest it needs, does not mean that it is impossible. You simply need to know where to turn for help.
Getting sleep is incredibly important. Your body not only needs you to be sleeping the right number of hours, but also deeply enough to help it restore itself. If you struggle to get deep sleep due to an ailment like sleep apnea, it is really important you get it treated. Come in and see us here at Mark Levy, DDS, and let us help get you set up with a nighttime appliance to help you safely rest. Our expertise can give you back what a lack of proper sleeping may have taken from you.