Good Sleep is One of the Foundations of Good Health
one of nature’s great gifts. It restores our energy, helps the brain to
consolidate newly learned information, and allows the body to undergo necessary
maintenance and repairs. Hormonal changes during sleep are believed to play an
important role in shoring up the immune system, fighting inflammation, and even
helping prevent cancer from developing. A good night’s sleep should leave you
feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to face the new day.
have repeatedly shown the strong link between good sleep and good health. For
most people, eight hours is ideal, although some people may require as little
as seven, and others (especially children and adolescents) really need nine or
more hours per day for optimal health. Getting too little sleep has been linked
to everything from weight gain to an increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular
disease and death. Parents take note: the link between inadequate sleep and
obesity is especially strong among children and adolescents.
a hormone released at night in response to complete darkness, helps induce
sleep. It also acts as a potent antioxidant and has important anti-cancer
activities. For this reason, it’s become increasingly clear that exposure to
light at night may be unhealthy. Even the smallest amount of artificial light
at night can interfere with your body’s production of this highly beneficial
hormone, so consider sleeping in a completely dark room, if you’re not already.
course, one of the keys to a good night’s sleep is a good mattress. Next week,
I’ll be posting a new series on the importance of sleeping on not just a good
mattress, but a safe one.
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duration as a possible cause of obesity: critical analysis of the
epidemiological evidence. Obes Rev. 2011 Feb;12(2):78-92. doi:
Wahnschaffe A, Haedel S, Rodenbeck A, Stoll C, Rudolph H, Kozakov R, et al. Out of the
lab and into the bathroom: evening short-term exposure to conventional light
suppresses melatonin and increases alertness perception. Int J Mol Sci. 2013 Jan 28;14(2):2573-89. doi: