GENESEO, N.Y., Mar. 13, 2023 – The health benefits associated with restful sleep have been well documented and Livingston County is recognizing March as Sleep Awareness Month.
Sleep plays a pivotal role in overall good health and an individual’s well-being as it supports healthy brain function and maintains physical health. Sleep has an even more important function in children and teens by aiding in growth and development.
Inadequate sleep can have significant impacts on a person’s overall quality of life and health. A lack of sleep has also been proven to raise one’s risk for chronic, long-term health problems. It can affect how you think, work, learn and has been shown to change how people interact with their environment.
Sleep can have a significant, lasting impact on heart health and the body’s circulatory system as both blood pressure and heart rate are slowed during sleep cycles. When waking, the body’s sympathetic system is active, increasing heart rate and blood pressure. Those who experience a sharp increase in either have been shown to have a higher risk for angina, chest pain and heart attack. Additionally, individuals who do not get the recommended amount of sleep on a regular basis have a higher risk of developing coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and suffering a stroke.
Sleep is also a critical partner in hormonal production. The human body releases specific hormones in the morning that help to stimulate the senses. Those who are unable to maintain healthy sleeping habits run the risk of lowered testosterone, estrogen and progesterone levels.
Furthermore, sleep has been proven to influence the body’s metabolism as it regulates how the liver is digesting fats at appropriate times. Studies have shown that a lack of quality sleep can lead to higher levels of hormones that control hunger, a decreased ability to respond to insulin, increase consumption of food, decreased physical activity and metabolic syndrome – all of which can lead to obesity.
It is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control that you receive between seven and eight hours of good-quality sleep each night.
Are you having difficulty falling and staying asleep? The CDC recommends avoiding heavy meals, nicotine, caffeine, alcohol and other sugary substances before bedtime. A nightly routine can also aide in your sleep quality and devices should be out of reach before bed. It’s also recommended to sleep in a quiet, cool, dark environment.
Learn more about the health benefits associated with sleeping by visiting the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s website.
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About Livingston County:
Founded in 1821, Livingston County, N.Y., is comprised of more than 61,000 residents in 17 towns located across 631 square miles of the Finger Lakes region.