Balance Your Sleep for Better Health

April 21,2016

At times, we all have trouble sleeping. Even in your younger years you may remember those sleepless nights on Christmas Eve where you tossed and turned into the wee hours of the morning. Although a good night's sleep is always important, the occasional restless night is commonplace and your body actually recovers rather quickly from acute episodes. What many adults fail to realize is how important it is to their health and wellness to maintain good sleep balance.

Research studies at the University of Pittsburgh discovered that inconsistencies in sleep schedule appears to have a direct correlation to key measurements of good health. Although it is easy to slip into the habit of sleeping late on weekends and napping on the sofa during Sunday's game, this disruption to your sleep balance may lead to weight gain, higher cholesterol levels and greater insulin resistance. Plus, an inconsistent sleep schedule can impact your mood and your ability to concentrate.

We all have an internal clock (also called the circadian rhythm) that tells the body when it's time to sleep and when to wake up. When your sleep schedule is disrupted by working a late-shift or staying up all night with a sick child, chances are good that you will feel out of sorts or groggy the next day. According to WebMD, once you get out of rhythm, it can be harder to fall asleep or wake up at normal times again.

Unfortunately, many adults seem to be their own worst enemy when it comes to disrupting their sleep balance; and in many cases this comes from a seemingly innocent attempt to catch up on sleep. During the week, millions of Americans get up at the same time to go to work and go to bed a regular time to feel good at work the next day. Provided you get six to eight hours of rest, this routine allows for a healthy sleep cycle. However, once the weekend comes around, this balance is often disrupted by staying up later at night and sleeping later in the mornings. The University of Pittsburgh study of middle-aged adults concluded that this disruption to someone's sleep balance can be a contributor to obesity, heart disease and feelings of depression.

If you have difficulty in maintaining a balanced sleep schedule, make an appointment at either PrimeMED location. Our doctors can determine whether you have a contributing factors, such as sleep apnea, and the best course of overall treatment. Let us help you balance your sleep for a happier and healthier life.