We know that physical activity and a good diet go hand in hand when it comes to our health. We also understand the importance of personal hygiene practices, like brushing our teeth and bathing. But do we place a similar emphasis on our sleeping patterns?
Sleep plays an important role in maintaining a person’s health and well-being over the course of their life. During sleep, your body is working to restore itself and support healthy brain function and physical health for the next day.1,2 Therefore, getting good quality sleep can help protect and improve your mental health, physical health, and overall quality of life.1
According to the National Institute of Health, 50–70 million adults in the United States suffer from a sleep disorder or report having insufficient sleep.3 Studies have shown that not getting enough sleep can lead to cognitive impairments such as difficulty making decisions, solving problems, learning and retaining information, controlling emotions and behaviour, or coping with change.1,4 Ongoing sleep deficiency is also linked to an increased risk of health problems including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even early mortality.4
Exercise plays a role in how well your body is able to rest-up: research has shown that increased sedentary time is associated with poorer sleep quality than those who reported exercising. Those who exercised more regularly were less likely to report sleep disturbances and daytime tiredness.3
The National Sleep Foundation issued recommendations for appropriate sleep durations. The recommended sleep guidelines show that at different stages of our lives we require different amounts of sleep. Typically, infants and newborns need nearly twice as much sleep as a fully-grown adult, and that duration reduces in slight increments as children grow into adults2:
Canadian Chiropractic Association