Active Seniors

Sweet dreams are not the only benefit of good sleep!

There are few things more refreshing than the feeling of waking up after a good nights sleep. A night when your body got just the right amount it needed of pure uninterrupted bliss. A morning where you woke up on your own terms feeling fresh and full of energy. Unfortunately around 20% of us fail to get a full six hours of sleep a night and the consequences to our health are significant.

While everyones sleep needs are slightly different, the average sleep needs for an adult sit between 7 and 9 hours a night. Think you get less than this and manage just fine? It could be that your body has adapted to this level of sleep. However it doesn’t spare you from the potential health impacts of reduced sleep. 

So what happens when we don’t get enough sleep? Let’s break it down into different areas starting with the brain. Reduced sleep reduces our reaction time which is essential to reduce falls not to mention car accidents. A more concerning effect of sleep deprivation on the brain is that it makes us more prone to anxiety and depression. Mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression can create other problems if not managed such as relationship issues and addiction

The next area that is impacted is our hormones. These chemicals are vital messengers that are found in all organ systems and have an important role in regulating many of our core body functions. Sleep deprivation causes on average a 10-15% reduction in testosterone levels which are important for bone density and muscle function. It also affects the hormones responsible for hunger and satiety, making us feel up to 25% more hungry!

Finally these effects combined have direct impacts on our risk of developing type 2 diabetes, having a heart attack and can even affect our longevity. So how do we ensure that we get a good nights sleep? There are various suggestions involving timing, temperature, light and exposure to electronic devices. We would love to hear your best tip for a good nights sleep!

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