By: Nutrition expert- Vidula Kozarekar, Mumbai
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“Lack of sleep is a health issue that deserves your attention and your doctor’s help. Not getting enough sleep—due to insomnia or a sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea, or simply because you’re keeping late hours—can affect your mood, memory and health in far-reaching and surprising ways”, says Johns Hopkins sleep researcher Patrick Finan, Ph.D. Sleep deprivation can also affect your judgment so that you don’t notice its effects (1).
Most of us need around 8 hours of good-quality sleep a night to function properly – but some need more and some less. What matters is that you find out how much sleep you need and then try to achieve it.
As a general rule, if you wake up tired and spend the day longing for a chance to have a nap, it’s likely that you’re not getting enough sleep.
Chronic poor sleep may lead to developing: (2)
- Heart disease
- Type-2 Diabetes
- Cancers of breast, colon, ovaries and prostate
- Also affect the ability to function while performing daily tasks like working or driving
Risk factors contributing to sleep deprivation and disruption: (2)
Getting enough sleep has many benefits. It can help you: (3)
- Get sick less often
- Stay at a healthy weight
- Lower your risk for serious health problems, like diabetes and heart disease
- Reduce stress and improve your mood
- Think more clearly and do better in school and at work
- Get along better with people
- Make good decisions and avoid injuries – for example, sleepy drivers cause thousands of car accidents every year
Tips to help you get a good night’s sleep: (4)
- Stick to a sleep schedule
- Exercise is great, but not too late in the day
- Avoid caffeine and nicotine
- Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed
- Avoid large meals and beverages late at night
- Avoid medicines that delay or disrupt your sleep, if possible
- Don’t take naps after 3 p.m
- Relax before bed
- Take a hot bath before bed
- Have a good sleeping environment
- Have the right sunlight exposure
- Don’t lie in bed awake
- See a doctor if you continue to have trouble sleeping.
According to the reviewed studies, eating functional foods may promote sleep: (5)
- Barley grass powder,
- Whole grains,
- Asparagus powder,
- Schisandra wine,
- And milk
By learning to sleep well, you may gain the energy you need to invest in other aspects of your health. And you may find that it leads to satiety and healthy body weight.