Healthy Families

Better Sleep for Better Health

September 5, 2020


Steve Harvey, a world-renown entertainer, in one of his shows, suggested that fewer sleep hours result in success. This statement ruffled feathers and twitter was ablaze thereafter with several criticizing him. Steve Harvey’s statement resonated with people across the world who pride themselves in working more work hours and sleeping fewer hours. We are always on the grind to chase that paper oblivious of the hazardous effects of reduced sleep hours.

Sleep like air is a necessity. Our bodies are continuously working, sleep is one way to repair, relax and rejuvenate the system. It is recommended that we get at least 7 hours of sleep daily however, there are several conditions that interrupt sleep. These include:

  • Insomnia – trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Sleep apnea – abnormal breathing while asleep
  • Narcolepsy – a neurological disorder that affects the wake/sleep cycle
  • Restless legs syndrome – a nervous disorder that causes an overwhelming urge to move your legs mostly while sleeping) are a few sleep disorders that interfere with the quality of sleep.

Medical assistance should be sought in such cases.

A night of good sleep is essential to good health.

The benefits include:

  1. Boosting your immunity
  2. Improving mental well being
  3. Preventing diabetes
  4. Increasing sex drive
  5. Keeping off heart diseases through improving the energy levels for physical activity and minimizing stress levels
  6. Increasing fertility- sleep improves hormone production responsible for the fertility process in both men and women
  7. Maintaining your body weight. Lack of sleep reduces leptin hormone (keeps you satisfied) which creates cravings for fat and sugar-laden foods and increases the probability of eating more calories at night

Sleep deprivation interferes with the moods, causes the skin to appear dull and older, interrupts healing from illness and injuries takes time, and the probability of depression steadily rises.  Reduced melatonin levels interfere with estrogen production which may increase the risk of breast cancer. It is  crucial to get quality sleep.

Besides getting medical assistance, having a regular sleep schedule, refraining from caffeine past noon, limiting daytime naps, avoiding the use of electronic devices before two hours before going to sleep, spending an hour before bed doing relaxing activities, and avoiding heavy meals 2 hours before bedtime are simple strategies to help you get a good night rest.

If you ever find yourself debating between heading to bed or watching that TV series, choose getting your rest. Not only does it make you feel better but its importance goes way beyond mood-boosting. Therefore, set the right mood for bed, tuck tight, and sleep right.