Good Sleep for a Healthy Brain

by Feb 11, 2019

Growing Body of Research That Shows a Relationship Between Sleep a Healthy Brain.

It ranks right up there with diet and exercise in terms of being vital to your health and well-being.

Sleep is important to a number of brain functions, including how nerve cells (neurons) communicate with each other.  In fact, your brain works hard while you sleep.  Recent findings suggest that sleep plays a housekeeping role that removes toxins in your brain that build up while you are awake.  Clearing out harmful toxins, a process that may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. During sleep, the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain increases dramatically, washing away harmful waste proteins that build up between brain cells during waking hours. Creating long-term memories, supports learning

Sleep affects almost every type of tissue and system in the body; from the brain, heart, and lungs to metabolism, immune function, mood, and disease resistance.

Research shows that a chronic lack of sleep, or getting poor quality sleep, increases the risk of disorders including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, obesity, and Alzheimers.  Your need for sleep and your sleep patterns change as you age, but this varies significantly across individuals of the same age.  Elderly people are also more likely to take medications that interfere with sleep. 

There is no magic “number of sleep hours” that works for everybody.  Babies initially sleep as much as 16 to 18 hours per day, which may boost growth and development (especially of the brain).  School-age children and teens on average need about 9.5 hours of sleep per night.  Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night, but after age 60, nighttime sleep tends to be shorter, lighter, and interrupted by multiple awakenings. 

In general, people are getting less sleep than they need due to longer work hours and the availability of round-the-clock entertainment and other activities. The idea of “catching up” on your sleep on the weekends may not be adequate.

Getting enough sleep is good for your health. 

Tips to Improve Your Sleep:

  • Set a schedule; go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, consistency is best.
  • Exercise 20 to 30 minutes a day but no later than a few hours before going to bed.
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine and alcohol late in the day before bed.
  • Relax before bed, reading, meditation or another relaxing routine.
  • Hot shower, after the body cools down, this is a body signal that it is time to sleep.
  • Create a room for sleep – avoid bright lights and loud sounds, keep the room at a cooler (not cold) temperature, and don’t watch TV or have a computer in your bedroom.
  • Don’t lie in bed awake.  If you can’t get to sleep, do something else, like reading or listening to gentle music, until you feel tired.

See your physician if you have a problem sleeping or if you feel unusually tired during the day.  Most sleep disorders can be treated effectively. Getting a sleep study done and getting treated is essential for longevity and quality of life.

Get tested, get treated and live better!

Capitol Premier Dental Group can make oral sleep appliances that will effective treat mild to moderate sleep disorders such as snoring and sleep apnea.

Call 303-991-4455 and schedule your appointment!

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