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Wellness Weekly: Good Sleep Is Good For You

Adam Winger

“Happiness is waking up, looking at the clock and finding that you still have two hours left to sleep.” 

Charles M. Schulz, American Cartoonist and Charlie Brown creator

Like food and water, sleep is required for a healthy and vibrant existence. According to the Sleep Foundation, sleep is an essential function that allows our bodies and minds to recharge. 

Quality sleep helps our bodies stave off disease. And most importantly, without enough sleep, our brains cannot function properly.  You know that energized and alert feeling you have after a good night’s sleep? Well, that’s your body telling you, you are renewed!

The National Institute of Health website states that “Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.”

Research shows that poor sleep is strongly linked to weight gain and that poor sleepers have a greater risk of heart disease and stroke. On the other hand, good sleep can improve concentration and productivity and 8 hours of sleep a night can improve your immune function.

Here are some helpful tips for achieving more and better sleep:

  • Nightly Routine: Establishing a consistent schedule for bedtimes and waking times and can promote a healthy sleep schedule, according to leading health experts.
  • Your Bed: Establishing an association between sleep and one’s bed is also helpful. Experts recommend only using your bed for sex and sleep.
  • Sleep In The Dark: Eliminate light triggers such as handheld devices, televisions, and outside light during resting hours to minimize visual stimuli.
  • Exercise: Activity during the day will promote rest during the night. Daily exercise has numerous health benefits, including better sleep.
Photo Courtesy Bruce Mars
  • What You Eat Is How You Sleep: Avoiding alcohol or highly caffeinated beverages and sweets toward the end of the day can eliminate artificial stimuli and promote natural fatigue that leads to a healthy night’s sleep.
  • 8 Hours Is The Goal: Eight hours of sleep is ideal. However, some people need more or less sleep than average. If you are struggling with sleep, consider speaking to your physician.