The Importance of Sleep – Part 1

Amy Wixted, Wellness and Education Manager at The Villages Health®, explains the importance of sleep and how it can become easy to fall out of smart and healthy sleeping habits. This video explores the benefits of sleep and the dangers that come without it.

See Amy’s entire sleep video series here »

The following is a transcript of the video:

Today we’re going to talk about getting a good night’s sleep. Now, I’m guessing since you’re here, that you’ve had at least one night of not so good sleep – in the probably near past. And we’re going to walk through some different reasons why you may be having problems with sleeping. Different things to do about it. And then like we always like to do with our presentations, we’re going to spend the last half talking about those action items that you can do. That are going to, from a lifestyle perspective, that you can start from today, that can improve the amount of sleep that you’re getting in the quality of sleep that you’re getting. So we’re going to leave you with that at the end.

Do want to remind you just like all of our presentations. It’s not to take the place of medical advice. What we like to do is give you that background and foundation on these different, health topics so that you can then go and have a better conversation with your doctor about how this applies to you.

So instead of spending an hour sitting down with your doctor and getting the basics on sleep, you can then go in and say “Well, I know those things. Here’s where I’m having the struggles with. Or, “Here’s how I have questions on ‘What does this mean for me?'” Okay. So always take that back to your doctor.

The importance of sleep. Now, if you have ever had a bad night’s sleep. You know, how important sleep is. A lot of things happen at night while we’re sleeping. Very important things, that determine how our next day is going to look as well as our future health. So we don’t want to skimp on even one night of sleep. Our immune system gets strengthened at night.

So if you’re not sleeping, well, you’re more likely to come down with the cold and flu. You are also more likely, we have now found, more likely to be at risk for things like heart disease. Certain types of cancer. Diabetes.  Your muscle and tissues are repaired at night. So any damage that you’re doing during the day, whether it’s injuries that you’re building up, or you were out doing strength training activities, and you’re building up that muscle. Those things are repaired at night.

All right, so very important there. Your memories are consolidated.  Everything that happens during the day, we have kind of in this holding tank. And at night, when you’re sleeping, that all transfers back into the vault.  Now if you’re not getting a good night sleep and that process doesn’t occur, you’re going to struggle more with memories.

You’re going to have more of that confusion. It may look like memory loss. It’s not dementia. It’s poor sleep in those situations. Okay, if you’re not putting something back there to store. It’s just going to be replaced by the things that happen the next day. Those new memories are going to sit on top of it and you’re going to have a harder time recalling those things that you would want to recall.

Hormones are released at night that regulate the growth in our bodies. Now being adults, we’re not growing unfortunately as tall anymore. We’re kind of maxed out on that. But every cell in our body is still going through that growth and development phase. And so it’s important that those hormones are released when they are, so that those cells will continue to grow normally and develop.

On a day-to-day level though, there’s three hormones that are released at night that control how hungry you feel, how full you feel after eating, and how well your body handles that food intake. So if you’re not sleeping, well, we know that that’s associated with problems with weight.

Now you’ve probably noticed this yourself if you’ve ever had an early morning flight, you never sleep well the night before. You’re up early, scrambling around. You’re traveling during the day, and you just feel like you’re hungry. Right and it’s “Oh, well. I it’s just because I’m traveling. I’m off my regular schedule.” But we eat and then we’re still hungry after. Okay?

Those hormones weren’t released correctly the night before and that can have an impact then, on how hungry we feel and how full we feel after eating the next day.

Emotional balance. This one doesn’t take much explanation. If we sleep well, we can basically handle anything that comes our way. If we don’t, watch out. Right? We can get cranky, we can get emotional, irritable, all of those things throw us off kilter. But with a good night’s sleep, our emotions are on track. And then mental alertness. They had one study that found for every hour and a half decrease in quality sleep at night, your alertness the next day goes down by 32 percent. That’s huge. So we feel clearer. We feel more grounded. And alert when we sleep well.


See Amy’s entire Sleep Series of videos here »

Last updated : 10.25.2018

The Villages, The Villages Health, America’s Healthiest Hometown, and their associated logos are trademarks of Holding Company of The Villages, Inc., and are used with permission.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and it is not meant to be relied on as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult your physician before starting any exercise or dietary program or taking any other action respecting your health. In case of a medical emergency, call 911.

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