Along with nutrition and exercise, sleep is one of the three pillars of a healthy lifestyle. Review these healthy sleep basics to see how they can improve your health and quality of life in a variety of ways:

Healthy sleep is vital for your physical health

It promotes peak performance and productivity. It also helps you fight off infection, maintain a healthy weight and avoid chronic diseases. Without healthy sleep you are more likely to have heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Healthy sleep is essential for your mental health

Healthy sleep helps you to balance your mood and emotions. Without healthy sleep you are more likely to struggle with feelings of anxiety and depression.

Healthy sleep improves your memory and focus

It sharpens your mind so that you can think clearly. Sleep helps you excel at school and work. Without healthy sleep you are more likely to be forgetful and make mistakes.

Healthy sleep promotes personal and public safety

It keeps you alert and helps you to react quickly. Without healthy sleep you are more likely to have an accident while driving or at work.

Healthy sleep involves making the right choices to prioritize and protect sleep.

Here are three keys to achieving and maintaining healthy sleep:

  • Quantity
    Most adults need at least 7 hours of nightly sleep for optimal health and productivity. Some people need more sleep to feel well-rested. Try to get 7 or more hours of sleep per night. Set a regular bedtime that is early enough for you to get a full night of sleep.
     
  • Quality
    Getting good sleep is important, too. Sleeping 7 hours each night isn’t enough: You also need quality sleep. Avoid common sleep disrupters in the evening. These include alcohol, caffeine and tobacco. Talk to your doctor if you are taking a medication that disturbs your sleep.
     
  • Regularity
    It also is important to sleep at the right time. Healthy sleep is part of the daily rhythm of life. Your body sleeps best at night when it is dark. It also functions best when you keep a regular routine. Try to wake up at the same time every morning, and go to bed when you feel sleepy.
     

The quantity, quality and regularity of your sleep can be disrupted if you have a sleep disorder. Talk to your doctor about a referral to Parkwest Sleep Disorders Center if you have an ongoing problem that prevents you from sleeping well. Make healthy sleep one of your top priorities. You must sleep well to be well!

Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine