I Feel The Need... The Need For Sleep.

The majority of the conversations in the office seem to center around the positive impact that exercise can have on our well being. Diet and weight loss is another very common topic of discussion with patients, but very few will ask about or discuss sleep! Do you have any idea how important sleep is to your well being? Just ask Dr. Carol, I'm sure that she can tell you...

Have you ever felt like you are doing all the right things in terms of exercise, diet, stress management, and seemingly every other facet of life and are still feeling like you just can't make any progress? It might be time to take a look at your sleep habits. Sleep seems to be one of those things that we all think that we do fine with regardless of how we feel. Today I asked several patients how much sleep they get on an average night. The answers really surprised me! I heard one patient tell me that she gets 8 or more hours at night (She is a teenager and we know how much they can sleep...) but the more shocking answer was from an older patient who told me that she got 1-2 hours of solid sleep per night!

According to an article from Time Magazine, sleep can impact almost every aspect of our lives! It impacts weight control by altering hormonal balances. More importantly it has also been linked to diabetes, heart disease, ADHD, and the list goes on! So, I would guess that you might be wondering what you can do to improve your sleeping habits! Here is a quick list of things to consider:

  • Unplug from technology at least an hour before going to bed!
    • That means no TV, Cell Phone, Computer, etc.
  • Target 7-8 hours of sleep EVERY night
  • Develop a sleeping routine - Go to bed at the same time and wake at the same time every day (Yes, even weekends)
  • Manage your stress levels
    • If you have too much on your mind, it will often interfere with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Make the bedroom a "sleep only" area
    • No need to eat, or watch TV, or work while in bed.
  • Make sure that your sleeping area is dark and quiet
I hope that those tips are easy enough that you can incorporate them into your sleeping routine! 

Here is a TED talk with Jeff Iliff about the impact that sleep can have on our body. 
Click the image below to watch it!

 Movement is my Medicine,
Dr. William "Chip" Bleam

Dr. William "Chip" Bleam


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