How Sleep Helps Heal Your Body – Sleep Awareness Week

Sleep Awareness Week.

How Sleep Helps Heal Your Body

This week we are joining the National Sleep Foundation in celebrating its Annual Sleep Awareness Week. This year’s theme “Begins with Sleep” aims to highlight the importance of good sleep health so everyone can achieve their personal, family, and professional goals.

As a biologic management company, we understand the importance of sleep in the recovery process of the patients we treat. However, good sleeping habits benefit all individuals, not just those who are suffering from an illness. Several studies have concluded that there is a link between good sleeping habits and higher productivity levels as well as physical and emotional well-being.

How much sleep do you need for Optimal Health?

The National Sleep Foundation (“NSF”) conducted a world-class study that took more than two years of research to complete. In this study, the NSF updated its sleep duration recommendations according to age and created two new age categories. The first involves young adults between the ages of 18-25 and the other considers adults 65+.

Here are the new daily recommendations:

  • Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours
  • Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours
  • Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours
  • School-Age Children (6-13): 9-11 hours
  • Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours
  • Young Adults (18-25): 7-9 hours
  • Adults (26-64):  7-9 hours
  • Older Adults (65+): 7-8 hours

Sleep Awarenes: Benefits of Good Sleeping Habits

Sleeping is a way for our bodies to recover from damage and protect itself against illnesses. Sleep studies have shown that when the sleep cycle is disturbed, the body’s biologic activity is less efficient, and over time, can lead to disease.

Getting the recommended hours of sleep will help you stay healthy and recover faster from illnesses and injuries.

Brain Benefits

Minimal cognitive brain function can be maintained with as little as 3-4 hours of sleep a day. Minimal cognitive brain function allows us to perform routine tasks, like taking a shower, getting dressed, walking, and having a casual conversation. Complex jobs that require more focus or analytical thinking will be harder to complete on such little sleep.

Aside from cognitive brain function the brain also carries out other tasks such as hormone secretion. To properly perform this, it requires at least 7-8 hours of continuous sleep per day.

Benefits on the Skeletal System

Adequate sleep is necessary to maintain healthy bone marrow, the tissue found inside bones which contains stem and immune cells.

Additionally, muscles and other tissues repair and rejuvenate while we sleep thanks to increased blood flow and the release of hormones. While we enter the deep states of sleep the body releases growth hormones that stimulate muscle repair and growth as well as prolactin which helps regulate inflammation. Therefore, sleep becomes an essential factor in recovering from damaged tendons, strained muscles, and even bone fractures.

Heart Health Benefits

Sleep deprivation can send the body’s sympathetic nervous system into overdrive, causing the release of higher amounts of the hormone adrenaline, which force the heart to work harder.

People who don’t get consistent recommended hours of sleep are also at a higher risk of developing high cholesterol levels which could lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Immune System Benefits

Research has found that people are more likely to catch a common cold when they are behind on their rest. However, sleep deprivation could also put you at a higher risk of developing more severe infections.

During sleep, the immune system releases proteins called cytokines. These proteins have protective properties and need to increase when an individual has an infection, inflammation, or under stress.

Sleep deprivation may decrease the production of these protective cytokines. Also, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep.

Benefits to Liver Health

The liver is the largest internal organ in the body, and it’s responsible for many metabolic processes that are vital to our survival including:

  • Bile production and excretion
  • Excretion of bilirubin, cholesterol, and hormones
  • Metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates
  • Enzyme activation
  • Storage of glycogen, vitamins, and minerals
  • Synthesis of plasma proteins, such as albumin, and clotting factors
  • Blood detoxification and purification

Like other organs, the liver adheres to a rhythm which can be thrown off balance if we don’t get enough sleep leading to serious health consequences.

Tips to Improve Your Sleep

Given how vital sleep is to our health, we should all strive to improve our sleeping habits and practice proper sleep awareness. Here are some simple ways that can help you get a better night’s rest:

  • Stick to a schedule: Try going to bed at night and waking up at the same time even on weekends
  • Disconnect: Turn off your cell phone, computer, and TV
  • Relax: Find a way to unwind. For example, you can take a warm bath, read a book, or meditate
  • Your Room Should be a Sanctuary: Your room should be dark, quiet, with minimal distractions, and have a comfortable temperature
  • Know when and what to eat: Ideally you should not eat anything two or three hours before bedtime, but you shouldn’t go to bed hungry. You should avoid heavy meals and spicy foods.
  • Exercise: Try getting at least 20-30 minutes of moderate exercise per day; however, you should avoid exercise right before sleep
  • Avoid stimulants: Avoid caffeine and other stimulants 4-6 hours before sleep

At Altus Infusion, we always try to promote a healthy lifestyle including sleep awareness. Sleep is an essential factor in our overall well being, and we should all make it a priority.

Thank you to all Altus Infusion employees for helping us make Altus Infusion the quality brand that it is known for today.  It is through each individuals’ commitment to the highest standards that we uphold that we can continuously grow and evolve to deliver the best in-office biologic therapy management solutions in the country.

Thank You Team Altus Infusion.  Together, We Will Succeed!

At Altus Infusion, we care about the wellbeing of all patients, which is why we are dedicated to helping raise awareness of the different ways we can improve our health and live longer happier lives.

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