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Don't Let Sleep Disorders Prevent you From Being Healthy

 

Guest articles > Don't Let Sleep Disorders Prevent you From Being Healthy

 

by: Joel Mark

 

How are you feeling right now? Are you well rested and awake, or are you working on your fourth cup of coffee, just trying to get through the day? According to the National Commission of Sleep Disorders Research, at least 70 million Americans experience sleep problems, with over half of these being chronic cases. If you are struggling with getting a good night's rest, the negative consequences of poor sleep may be more serious than you realize.

The symptoms of sleep disorders can include daytime fatigue, weight gain, stroke and heart disease. Sleep disorders are serious medical problems, and if you suspect you have one, be sure to speak with a health care professional about testing and treatment options.

Sleep disorders can include the following:

  • Insomnia
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Narcolepsy
  • Shift work sleep disorder
  • Jet-lag syndrome
  • Obstructive sleep apnea

Why Less Sleep Equals A Bigger Waistline:

Chronic insomnia can lead to hormonal imbalances for both men and women. Ghrelin is a hormone that stimulates appetite, and the hormone leptin signals the body to burn fat. Sleep loss leads to decreased leptin, telling the body that it needs more calories and fat, signaling ghrelin to stimulate the appetite. The result of all this is that people with sleep disorders often have hormonal imbalances, causing them to feel hungry more often that those without sleep issues. Because sleep disorders often cause fatigue, these same people are also unlikely to have the energy to burn off the extra fat with exercise.

During quality sleep, the body also releases melatonin and growth hormone, rejuvenating lost muscle mass. When there aren't enough of these helpful hormones released due to poor sleep, the body releases more of the stress hormone, cortisol, which helps store stubborn belly fat. This cortisol plays a role in slowing down your metabolism, which needs recharging while you sleep to work effectively.

 

Healthy Bodies Need Healthy Sleep:

Getting a good night's sleep promotes a healthy lifestyle, because when you feel well rested and refreshed, you have the energy to participate fully in the day's events. Healthy activities like exercise are much more appealing when you have had a good night's sleep. Your brain will thank you too, because cognitive functions work best when you get quality sleep.

Tips for sleeping well include:

  • Cut out the coffee and cola in the early afternoon, because the effects of caffeine can last up to eight hours, disrupting your sleep.
  • Exercise in the morning, not before bed.
  • Remove any distractions, like a TV or computer, from the bedroom.
  • Have a dark, quiet bedroom.
  • Keep bedroom between 68 and 72 degrees, and try to avoid temperature changes while sleeping.
  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule, even on the weekends and during holidays.
  • Don't eat or drink anything at least two hours before bedtime.
  • Children and pets need to sleep in their own beds, because their presence can disrupt your sleep.
  • Don't stress if you can't sleep. If you can't fall asleep within 30 minutes of going to bed, get up and do some light reading, then return to bed when you feel sleepy.
  • Maintain fresh sheets, pillows and a good quality mattress.

Sleeping well is one of the simplest ways to improve your quality of life and prevent serious live-threatening conditions like cardiac disease. Put some effort into getting a good night's rest, and both your body and brain will thank you.

 


Author Bio: Joel Mark is an online author who is passionate about basketball, weight training & fitness. When he's not outside exercising, he studies a lot about health and nutrition, which runs the gamut from sleep apnea treatment to nutrition.


Contributor: Joel Mark

Published here on: 11-Sep-11

Classification: Development

 

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