Sleep

Sleep is one of the most important aspects of life and it often goes overlooked.  Many people understand that being careful with what you eat and how much exercise you get is important for a healthy lifestyle, but not many people realize that a healthy sleep schedule is just as important.  Sleep is important for every area of our health, and without it our bodies cannot function properly, so today’s blog post we are going to dive into some areas of life that are significantly impacted by our sleep.

Cognition

              One of the most obvious areas affected by sleep is our mental acuity.  Being able to focus and process tasks effectively is essential for healthy wellbeing.  Studies have shown that adequate sleep is important for reaction time, decision making, memory formation, mood enhancement, and even proper eye movement.   Students who sleep well after studying score higher on tests, and rested employees are far more productive.  Culturally, we tend to eat into our sleep time when we get busy or overwhelmed, but the science is clear that the consequences of sacrificing sleep outweigh any short term productive gains.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2656292/

Weight loss/gain:

              Weight loss is a topic that is incredibly difficult for many of us.  It feels like an uphill battle and many people feel like they have tried everything and cannot lose any weight.  What many people do not realize is that their sleeping habits might be culprit.  Our body regulates many hormones through the sleep cycle, one of the important hormones is cortisol.  Cortisol causes our body to store visceral fats.  When we deprive ourselves of sleep our cortisol levels rise.  Without good sleep hygiene it becomes incredibly difficult to lose any weight, even though this often gets overshadowed by diet and exercise.  This is so prevalent that abhorrent sleep schedules is one of the greatest predicting factors for childhood obesity.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2831987/#:~:text=In%20one%20such%20study%2C%20Sanjay,7%E2%80%938%20hours%20per%20night.

Wound healing:

              This subject might come as a bit of a surprise, however there are scientific studies that demonstrate how our sleep is an important aspect of the healing process.  Both the growth of new cells and building new proteins are aided during sleep.  So injuries ranging from a paper cut to a torn muscle would all apply.  This is particularly relevant for us at Concho Valley Chiropractic as we guide patient through healing from injuries.  So if you find yourself with general aches and pains or recovering for a trauma make sure to set aside time for a healthy night’s sleep in order to give your body the best shot to heal

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1443671/pdf/bmjcred00529-0006.pdf

 

Skin Health

              Skin health is a topic that comes up fairly frequently on our blog.  Aside from being the largest organ in our body, our skin represents beauty and confidence. An article published in the journal of experimental dermatology investigated people with different levels sleep and scored their skin on a skin ageing index.  This article not only found that “poor sleepers” had a significantly higher aged skin, but also that the “good sleepers” had a 30% better recovery from their skin being exposed to UV light.    So all in all there is some scientific backing to the idea of beauty sleep.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25266053/

Heart disease

              Arguably the most important area of health that our sleep impacts is cardiovascular health.  Heart and blood vessel related issues remain the number one cause of death in America so anyway to mitigate it is of great importance.  Strikingly enough a study conducted over 5 years concluded that with irregular sleep patterns our likelihood of cardiovascular disease doubles.  The study clearly labels our sleep as an independent risk factor for heart disease, and puts it on the level of physical activity and diet.  So if none of the reasons above inspired your to evaluate your sleep schedule, let this one, it might just save your life.

https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/study-finds-irregular-sleep-patterns-double-risk-cardiovascular-disease-older-adults