Early to Bed - Early to Rise
You're eating well,
taking your vitamins and exercising regularly, but you're still
always tired. The missing piece of the puzzle may be as simple
as lack of adequate sleep. Americans are chronically
sleep-deprived?ask any working parent!
Sleep is crucial
to good health. Sleep is our time to mentally and physically
refresh and rejuvenate, to recharge our energy batteries with
enough power to get us though the following day. But sleep does
more than make you feel rested.
Sleep is the time when
the body repairs the damage done to our cells that day. It is
also very important for strong immune function. Two studies with
healthy volunteers demonstrated suppression of immunological
function after one night of modest sleep deprivation. The
activity of certain white blood cells and the production of
chemicals essential for immune system performance significantly
decreased. After a good night's sleep, most indices of immune
functioning went back to baseline levels.
About 40% of
adults experience sleepiness that interferes with daily
activities. Most U.S. adults get less than seven hours of sleep
per night during the work week, while research has determined
that certain parameters of immune function are enhanced by more
than seven hours of sleep. Lack of sleep affects mood, and
cognitive and motor performance. So, if you find yourself
burning the candle at both ends, remember . . you're not a human
doing; you're a human being!!!