Doctors are increasingly convinced that restful and regular sleep is just as important to their patients’ health as exercise and a balanced diet.
Overcoming a sleep disorder and getting a good night’s rest has many benefits for overall health and quality of life. Sleep is important for learning and forming memories. Getting a good night’s sleep can give you more energy, and can increase your productivity and safety throughout the day. Perhaps most importantly, healthy sleep can greatly reduce the risk of serious health problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and depression.
Although sleep is critical to good health, many people do not get enough quality sleep. For some people, this lack of sleep is by choice. For other people, the lack of sleep may be from:
- A change in the body’s natural clock. Shift work and jet lag are examples of things that can lead to this kind of sleep loss.
- Taking certain substances, like drugs or alcohol, that can make sleep less restful.
- Trying to sleep in a place that is not relaxing (too hot, too noisy).
- A sleep disorder, like sleep apnea.