The Miracle Drug Sleep
Is Sleep the Latest Miracle Drug?
On a daily basis we hear about the latest drug or supplement that is supposed to vastly improve our quality of life— whether it’s more energy, better concentration, or helping us become more physically fit.
This all sounds great, but in actuality the perfect drug already exists and is available to everyone. It’s all-natural, has no side effects, and doesn’t cost you a dime.
Of course, we’re talking about sleep!
While health advocates often promote the importance of diet and exercise, sleep seldom gets the attention it deserves for being the third pillar of the total health and wellness trinity.
In fact, the latest research shows that sleep is literally a “miracle drug” and should be taken much more seriously for anyone who is looking to improve their health, as well as their physical and mental performance.
Is sleep a waste of time?
There are only 24 hours in a day. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just sleep 2-3 fewer hours each night? You would get so much more accomplished, right?
Wrong. In fact, that’s not only wrong, it’s dangerous thinking.
Getting enough sleep is one of the keys to success for top performers because the brain doesn’t shut down while we sleep. Sure, sleep “charges the batteries” so to speak, but it does much more than that. Sleep actually plays an integral role in learning and processing information.
Here are just a few of the many reasons why we sleep:
1 Certain genes are in charge of restoring and rebuilding, but they are only turned on at night while sleeping. By getting adequate sleep, we ensure that we are allowing ourselves to take advantage of the natural processes that allow us to recover effectively.
2 Sleeping conserves energy. Simply put, we aren’t wired to be on the go 24 hours a day or even 18 hours a day.
3 The brain processes information and consolidates memories during sleep. If a person does not get enough sleep, it will impact the brain’s ability to retain information, thus inhibiting any learning that must take place. This can have a severe impact on personal and professional relationships.
So how do you know if you’re getting enough sleep?
The common sense (and correct) answer is to listen to your body. Children, teenagers, and young adults may need 9 or more hours of sleep, while adults may require less. However, the vast majority of people need at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
In fact, here are a few reasons to make sure you get adequate sleep each night:
1 Sleep improves your memory and retention skills, thus effectively making you smarter. Research shows that people who sleep more perform better on tests and experience improved job performance.
2 Sleep can reduce chronic inflammation.
3 Getting enough sleep ensures safety. After all, if we drive and do other things while sleep deprived, we are putting not only our life, but others lives at risk, as well.
4 Sleep is a critical factor in a successful weight loss program.
5 Sleep can improve your mood, which includes reducing stress, improving blood pressure, and improving heart health.
6 Sleep helps our bodies repair and restore cells.
So how can you get more sleep?
In order to get more sleep, you have to prepare your body to become tired at the right time each night. This primarily involves: not drinking caffeine after lunch, and ensuring your bedroom is a haven for rest and relaxation (for example, don’t watch TV or play on your iPad in bed).
If you feel sleep deprived, you could be suffering from a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea. If this is the case, we encourage you to contact our OSA team today to learn more about the treatment options we provide for sleep apnea sufferers.