|Even though we have been focusing on the “food” aspect during the November Nutrition Challenge last month, we need to remember to focus on another important link to good nutrition, which is healthy sleep. Good nutrition and good sleep go hand in hand!
Although we gain an extra hour of sleep with the end of daylight saving time this month, the slight shift could impact your sleep cycle for up to a week. You may wake up earlier, have trouble falling asleep or even wake up often during the night.
Adults should get seven hours or more of sleep each night, according to the CDC. However, only 2 in 3 American adults get enough sleep. Sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy, productive and low-stress lifestyle. Here are a few benefits of getting a good night’s sleep:
· Increased productivity and work performance—Giving your body enough time to go through all the sleep stages is necessary for energy, muscle repair, improved memory, and the release and regulation of important hormones essential for everyday functions.
· Boosted immune system—Consistent sleep strengthens your immune system, allowing for effective immune function. The immune system is critical to overall health, specifically for healing wounds, defending against infections and protecting against chronic illnesses.
· Improved mental health—Getting enough sleep can help alleviate feelings of fatigue that may contribute to stress, depression and anxiety. Symptoms of fatigue can be drowsiness, loss of energy and mood swings.
As our clocks fall back one hour, this is a prime opportunity to fall back into good sleep habits. For more information on how to improve your sleep habits or to address sleep issues, contact your doctor today.
3 Steps to Better Sleep
• Avoid electronics before bedtime.
• Pass up caffeine after midday.
• Establish a consistent sleep routine.
Your eating habits can be crucial for quality sleep! Learn how your food choices and your meal timing can make a difference. Read this article from the National Sleep Foundation for more info and tips on “The Link Between Nutrition and Sleep” https://www.thensf.org/the-link-between-nutrition-and-sleep/)