d r e t a e m e w s… s
HOW GETTING YOUR ZZZ’S IS HEART-HEALTHY!
Man is the only mammal that willingly delays sleep. So if you’re tired, go to bed!
WE’VE ALL BEEN THERE—
tossing and turning and keeping an ever-vigilant eye on the next strike of the clock. Just the mere thought of not getting to sleep is enough to drive you over the edge. But what about the health ramifications of insomnia? Study after study has shown that a good night’s sleep is imperative for good health. In fact, most experts agree that it is just as important as diet and exercise.
z z z zz z
If you can connect your insomnia with an event (good or bad), it helps to identify it, accept it, and move on. Don’t use bedtime to solve problems or anticipate life.
Sleep aids can actually be a detriment because you often go too deep into sleep or REM; try basic relaxation therapy instead.
With all the stress and anxiety around sleepless nights (not to mention the subsequent next-day exhaustion), it stands to reason it would affect our hearts. Here are some interesting points to consider from the National Sleep Foundation:
Exercise in general is great for a restful sleep, but avoid just prior to bedtime.
Watch what you eat and drink. Limit your caffeine throughout the day and don’t drink or eat anything after 7:00 p.m.
In general, most healthy adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night. You may not actually sleep, but at least get in your bed, get comfortable, and relax. Avoid electronic devices like laptops and phones.
We are always trying to “do” something to fall asleep—count sheep, think certain thoughts, drink warm milk, etc. Instead of trying to go to sleep, try to stay awake. It sounds silly but if you stare at the ceiling and pretend that you HAVE to stay awake, you might be pleasantly surprised when your eyelids begin to feel heavy and sleep takes over on its own. Proper, recuperative sleep is paramount to good health and good heart health. The National Sleep Foundation warns us to pay attention to our sleep patterns and problems and discuss them with your doctor. If anxiety or life events are causing the insomnia, that can also be addressed. From our grandmothers to famous philosophers, much advice is centered on the importance of sleep. So, “early to bed, early to rise…” –you know the rest! w
February 2020 Lake Norman Woman Magazine