Living Healthy and Happy: Sleep

Sleeping like a baby...don't you wish you had the luxury to slumber like this at any time?  Do you struggling to sleep at night or get the recommended 6-8 minimum hours of sleep at night? 

What many of us do not understand is that sleep is just as important for overall health as eating well and physical activity. Sleep is the time our bodies repair and relax. It is important that our bodies go through all 4 stages of sleep for our bodies to get the repair they need from all the hard work it goes through during the day.

There is no magical number of hours for every individual. I myself need 6 1/2 to 7 hours of restful sleep to function at my best. This means I can easily wake at 4:30 a.m. to start my day and can easily fall asleep at 9:30 p.m.  If I don't have a restful sleep, my body knows and everything I do is affected the next day 

During sleep, tissues repair themselves, blood pressure decreases, red blood cells regenerate and muscle fibers repair. But there are a lot of important things happening with your hormones that lead to being healthier and happier.  According to the National Sleep Foundation (http://sleepfoundation.org), "levels of the hormone cortisol dip at bed time and increase over the night to promote alertness in morning.

Sleep helps us thrive by contributing to a healthy immune system, and can also balance our appetites by helping to regulate levels of the hormones ghrelin and leptin, which play a role in our feelings of hunger and fullness. So when we’re sleep deprived, we may feel the need to eat more, which can lead to weight gain."

Sleep is very much a part of the big picture. Now grab your pillow, turn the light and cell phone off and make sure to catch those zzzzzz's! 

Off to snore a hole in the pillow.....Good night!

For more information on how to start living YOUR healthy life and discuss an individualized plan for you, call or email me at 515.285.7266 | acundiff@hy-vee.com