Sleep is nature’s nurse. When we ignore the importance of sleep in our health and lives, we can’t fully enjoy the benefits that regular, restful sleep provides. Even one night of inadequate sleep can ruin our mood, impair our judgment and sour our interactions with everyone else.
Sleeplessness can leave you feeling mentally blurry and irritable. Lack of sleep can also disturb appetite regulation, contributing to weight gain and ultimately, the problems associated with obesity. Sleeplessness has also been linked to heart disease, increased inflammation (which can lead to cancer), and a 50 percent increase in your risk of viral infection.
Have a hard time sleeping? Take a close look at your schedule. Could you go to bed earlier, or wake up later? Try to increase the time you devote to sleeping for a week, as an experiment. Giving up the late night TV show you usually watch could have big health benefits. When you go to bed, leave electronic devices by the bedside. Turn off the lights and the technology (except for an alarm clock) and talk to your health coach for more tips to get a good night’s sleep.