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Sleep may be the New Health and Beauty Secret!
sleep hygieneAccording to healthypeople.gov, 25 percent of U.S. adults are reporting insufficient sleep or rest (defined as someone who sleeps less than 6 hours a night) at least 15 out of every 30 days. Getting enough sleep helps prevent chronic diseases and promotes overall health. Sleep is associated with a number of endocrine, metabolic, and neurological functions that are critical to the maintenance of individual health. Adequate sleep is necessary to fight off infection and support the metabolism of sugar to prevent diabetes. If left untreated, sleep disorders and chronic insufficient sleep are associated with an increased risk of, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.

Did you know that quality sleep can also has positive impacts on outer beauty? According to leading dermatologists, “beauty” sleep is not just an old wives’ tale.

Medical research has shown that lack of sleep leads to increased levels of stress hormones in the body. Chronic high levels of stress hormones in the body cause increased inflammation within the skin that subsequently leads to an acceleration of aging (wrinkles!) and worsening of acne. People with poor sleep habits can have trouble with skin sensitivity and irritation due to a reduction in the skin’s ability to protect itself from chemicals and pollutants in the environment. Sleep allows the skin to restore its natural balance and increases the effectiveness of certain skin care ingredients, potentially increasing their benefit to your skin. When you don’t get enough sleep, your skin will show it. Eyes look dark and puffy after even a single night of poor sleep, but chronic sleep deprivation is particularly damaging. It leads to a dull, dehydrated complexion.

Make Sleep A Priority

Take a serious look at your sleeping routine. If you are an adult who gets 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night that is great! But, if you are still sleepy keep a sleep diary next to your bed for a week or so. Write down your routine bedtimes and how you feel each morning after you shower and get ready for your day. Think about what you might change to enhance your sleep quality.

1) Keep a routine sleep/wake schedule.
Try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day. This helps maintain your circadian rhythm or body clock.

2) Exercise.
A regular, moderate exercise routine has proven to be beneficial to the quality and quantity of sleep and will help you feel more alert during waking hours.

3) An hour before bedtime create a daily ritual to allow your body to get drowsy.
Dim the lights, take a warm shower or bath, listen to relaxing music or read.

4) Keep the bedroom cool, dark and quiet.
Body temperature drops when we are getting drowsy. Light and sound from TVs, electronic devices and the environment will disrupt sleep.

5) Limit drinking beverages and eating large meals in the evening too close to bedtime.
Your body will have to metabolize the food and drinks you consumed, and this disrupts sleep too.

6) Invest in comfortable bedding.
Your bed should be comfortable and inviting, make sure your mattress is supportive and linens and pillows are fresh and comfortable.

If you think you may be suffering from a sleep disorder please discuss this with your primary care provider, you may have an undiagnosed sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. Please call Hannibal Regional Sleep Lab at 573-248-5344 with any questions you may have about sleep.

Mary Duesterhaus, RPSGT, REEGT, CRT
Clinical Coordinator Neurodiagnostics
Hannibal Regional Hospital - Sleep Services