Sleep Tight, Don't let Insomnia Bite
We all know how important sleep is but let’s ask ourselves: do I really get enough sleep? How much is enough sleep anyway? According to the Sleep Foundation, different age groups need different amounts of sleep. Babies and toddlers need a median of 15 hours of sleep while children need an average of 10-11 hours. Teens and adults need about 8-9 hours to function at our most optimal level. Unfortunately, life in the 21st century has complicated our sleeping patterns and abilities. Blue light emitting screens affect our circadian rhythm so that we feel more alert which is great during the day, but harmful at night, per The Sleep Foundation.
Teens are especially vulnerable to being on their phones, often losing sleep in the process. This is especially troubling as lack of proper sleep has been linked to loss of sensitivity in serotonin 1A receptors which is linked to depression. The skyrocketing rates of mental health issues in teens is making more and more sense.
With each month, we are seeing the holistic nature of the way our bodies work and how deficiencies in one area can lead to deficiencies in other areas. Sleep loss can bring a host of issues from mental health, skin, endocrine and immune systems. The “brain in our gut” or ENS will be negatively impacted by lack of sleep leading to a lowered immune system. Our brains are the most vulnerable to negative mechanisms brought on by loss of sleep. Cognitive decline is parallel to lack of sleep explaining the rising rates of Alzheimer's disease in our society. As such, getting good quality and decent amounts of sleep is key to living a healthy lifestyle.
Sleep gotcha down?
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Your Health DEMPStrator
Dr. Monica Medina-Dobbs, Nutritionist
Blog author: Helen Derbew, Nutritionist