We all have heard that the way to get healthy is by diet and exercise, but did you know that there is now a third way? Sleep. That's correct; a healthy diet, regular exercise, and good old-fashioned sleep. We now know from studies that people who do not get enough good, sound sleep every night are at risk for a host of illnesses that include high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and depression. Sleep is necessary for our brains to create memories, and help us learn. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, there are ways for you to get help and begin to feel better! So remember, the way to health is diet, exercise, and sleep.
At some point, most of us have had an occasional 'bad night' where we experienced problems getting to sleep.
Does it really matter if you get enough sleep? Absolutely! People, whose sleep is interrupted or cut short, might not get enough of certain stages of sleep. How well you function the next day depends on your total sleep. In Brief: Your Guide to Healthy Sleep (PDF) (NIH) (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) talks about why sleep is good for you.
"You may not realize that sleep is as essential for your well-being as food and water." Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep (NIH) (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) explains why you may feel sleepy or "zoned out" during the day.
Sleep is recognized as an important part of disease prevention and health promotion. Sleep and Sleep Disorders (CDC) provides a brief overview of disorders, how much sleep you need and tips for the promotion of sleep.
Test your Sleep IQ (NIH) (The National Center on Sleep Disorders Research) with this interactive sleep quiz.
Updated January 2012
Clinical Advisory Board Sponsors: Karen M. Ott
Clinical Subject Matter Experts: Dr. Dana R. Epstein, Dr. Gail Powell-Cope, Dr. Joseph V. Agostini, Dr. Monica S. Horton
Patient Education Subject Matter Experts: Eileen Canzonetti, Karen M. Ott, Patricia Jost