What Is the Importance of Good Sleep for Great Life?
Sleep impacts almost every aspect of our daily lives, with poor quality of sleep making us more susceptible to developing chronic health conditions, preventing healthy brain function, and weakening the immune system. If you are suffering from sleep disorders or you just cannot have a goodnight sleep, contact Koala® Centers For Sleep & TMJ Disorders for more information or book an appointment online. We have convenient locations across the U.S. in Bloomington IL, Peoria/Dunlap IL, Mishawaka IN, Kansas City MO, El Paso TX, and Wausau WI.
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One of the best things you can do for yourself long-term is figure out a good, healthy sleep schedule that allows you to get enough sleep every night and around the same time each day. Once you have determined a good bedtime and amount of sleep that you need and are able to maintain this schedule as much as possible, the risks of developing health conditions will be significantly decreased, and your life expectancy will increase.
The exact sleep schedule that is the healthiest for everyone will vary a bit from person to person, especially since other responsibilities such as work, childcare, or daily chores can often interfere with being able to go to sleep or wake up at specific times. Also those who are naturally night owls may find that their ideal sleep schedule is a couple of hours behind the average person. Adults aged 18 to 60 years old should try to get around 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. It is also typically recommended that people try to fall asleep sometime between 10:00 pm and midnight to generally align with their natural circadian rhythm. However, it is more important that you are able to get enough sleep and are able to maintain a consistent sleeping and waking time day-to-day; even if you are unable to sleep around the same time as everyone else, it is more important that you find a schedule that works well for you and provides you with those 7 to 8 hours of sleep around the same time each day.
There are four commonly used sleeping positions that have proven to have negative effects on various parts of the body including the neck, hips, spine, and heart. These not recommended sleeping positions include:
– The fetal position – This position has been connected to knee pain, lower back inflammation, deformities of the spine, and neck pain.
– Stomach sleeping – Sleeping on your stomach for long periods of time has been shown to lead to irregular curvature of the spine, as well as neck inflammation and pain.
– Half sitting, half laying – It is common to fall asleep while watching a movie or reading on the couch, or sitting in bed on your phone, but falling asleep in this position regularly and for extended periods of time has been shown to place increased strain on the spine, resulting in swelling and pain in the shoulders, and lower back pain.
– Sleeping with your head resting on your arm – While this sleeping position is less common, if you happen to fall asleep in this position and stay in the position for an extended period of time, it can lead to nerve damage in the arm. This position is commonly held by those who fall asleep at a table or rest their head on the arm of a chair with their arm acting as a pillow.
Some of these positions may be more comfortable for you, helping you fall asleep faster, but, if possible, it is highly recommended that you try to sleep on your back, without allowing your head to fall side to side while sleeping, as this is the most effective position in reducing the strain placed on any one part of the body. You can sleep on your side as well if that is more comfortable, but it is important to try to maintain a straight line from the head down to the spine so that the neck, lower back, and hips are all aligned.
Quality of sleep will affect every process within the body, as it plays an essential role in maintaining good health and well-being. Those who are able to maintain a healthy sleep cycle with consistent times will have healthier immune systems, metabolisms, and a lower risk of developing chronic diseases. Your body requires enough sleep every night in order to support your physical and mental health and allow your brain to work as healthily as possible throughout the day.