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Are you getting enough sleep?

Life has become so busy, everyone just seems to be up and about, everyone is chasing something; be it goals, money, business deals, a degree, name it all, such that the thought rest (sleep) hardly crosses most people’s mind. The world economy that seems to be on a rollercoaster isn’t make matters any easier; fuel prices are on a constant rise, food prices seem to be on fast lane too and the cost of living is just beginning to be a big burden for the average person to bear, so sleep seems to be thought as a luxury now.

Contrary to that, sleep isn’t just about closing your eyes and lying in bed for the hours to go by, it isn’t just an action handed down to us as part of a daily routine but it’s a process that must take place with much intentionality and sometimes scheduling. Yes, you got me right, sleep can and must be scheduled as it’s a daily priority. I know some may want to argue with me, but have you discovered that how well you feel during your wake/working hours is dependent in how much quality sleep you’ve gotten, if you haven’t noticed, probably try taking note.

Sleep is such a vital element of our lives that it even affects our overall wellbeing throughout our life span. Sleep is connected to major processes in our bodies; it influences thought, judgment and memory, it affects digestion, if plays a role in brain and heart function, it has a positive impact on our moods and weight and so much more. If sleep isn’t so important, why do you think insomnia (chronic deprivation of sleep) has become a problem and other people are on medication to try get them to sleep?

Lack of good and enriching sleep (good sleep isn’t just in the hours but the quality) can put you at great risk of getting certain serious diseases and infections. As you grow older and dependent on each person’s individual needs and sometimes influenced by climate and environment may vary when it comes to sleep but it is recommended that adults are to have at least 6-8hrs of sleep per night.

I know you might be thinking that a singular post just dedicated to talking about sleep…well errrrm yes, because it’s that important and just as we emphasize on healthy eating and exercise, sleep has a lot of functions it plays, it needs to be balanced. Something like having a balanced diet inside another balanced diet, I hope you get what I’m saying (winks). Follow me as I talk about some of the major benefits of sleep….

  1. Sleep helps concentration, judgment and memory: Having a hard time concentrating or your brain doesn’t seem to hold information any longer? These could be tied to lack of sleep. Studies have proven that getting enough sleep helps boost concentration, memory and overall brain function and in school going children it’s connected to academic success.
  2. Sleep is connected to your ability to keep in shape: People who sleep for lesser hours are at the risk of being obese because sleep enhances the production of the hormone that helps regulate appetite. So, you like exercise from now till December and don’t sleep, you’re fighting a losing battle.
  3. Sleep helps improve our mood: Ever wonder why you’re always grumpy or probably very irritable, it’s time to check your sleep patterns. Sleep helps in the production of the happy hormone and reduces the stress hormone.
  4. Sleep is a great anti-aging pill: Gather here all ye forever young geng, did you know that sleep works better than all those anti-aging creams and pills you’re using? This is because during sleep, our body cells get renewed and certain chemicals that help slowdown aging are also produced. 
  5. Sleep helps your heart function better: People think that during sleep every part of our body shuts down but that’s not true otherwise we’d all be dead, lol. During sleep vital organs like the heart and brain get to be in hibernate mode so they can rest and repair and give their best when we’re awake. So, lack of sleep makes these organs work overtime.
  6. Sleep helps boost our immunity: During sleep, there are certain immune cells and chemicals that can only be produced during sleep, lack of proper sleep can then mean person’s defenses are let down and can’t function effectively.
  7. Sleep helps regulate your blood sugar: Lack of good sleep can affect your sugar levels and make them very inconsistent therefore making one prone to diseases like diabetes. Since we need energy during work hours, our systems make glucose available for us to achieve our outcomes but when we fail to sleep then glucose will be consistently available in the blood and that is highly dangerous.

With these few points of mine, I hope I’ve been able to convince and not confuse you that sleep is very vital, it is not a lazy man’s best friend but great requirement for our bodies to function well. Now ask yourself, how well am I sleeping to help me get the benefits?

Are you having challenges sleeping? HCI Healthcare has seasoned specialist that you can call and consult with via our Telemedicine package and will walk you through the journey of getting healthy sleep both natural and other medically safe methods.

Remember sleep is not just in the numbers but in the quality and relief you get from it, so no matter how busy life may seem, remember to make out time for a good snooze.

 

All this talking of sleep is making me sleepy, lol…. I’ll catch you in our next post.

Written By:
Rebecca Adeleke-Adesanmi, BSc. Nur., MA, Healthcare Mgt.
Health & Wellness Advocate,
HCI Healthcare HMO

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