A Bedtime Story About Sleep
Sleep is Important. Americans sleep about two hours less each night than they did a century ago. One-third of U.S. adults sleep less than seven hours a night, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most healthy adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Employment and lifestyle, including 24/7 technology, social media, and the constant news cycle are recent trends that can preempt sleep. People with arthritis and chronic pain have trouble sleeping because of aching, stiff, swollen joints.
Yvonne Lee, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, explains: “It is possible that acute inflammatory response to sleep deprivation could lead to more long-term problems, such as the development of chronic inflammatory conditions.” Shortchanging sleep can compromise nearly every major body system, from the brain to the heart to the immune system. “Because we’re asleep, we don’t see the benefits of it,” says Robert Stickgold, a well-known sleep researcher and associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. “That’s the disaster and tragedy of our current world.” Sleep experts say that sleep is just as important for optimum health as diet and exercise.
To improve sleep, follow a consistent sleep schedule, rise at the same time every day, adhere to a strict bedtime, and stay away from electronic devices and caffeine in the evening. A U.S. study found that people who sleep longer earn more money. The extra sleep should take away from working time, but research shows that the rested worker is more productive, livelier and happier. The study indicated that sleep deprivation is worse for productivity than being over or under-weight. If it is near bedtime, your DOC orthopedist advises you to turn off your computer or phone. Goodnight. Sleep well.
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