Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sleep is a public health issue, doctors say

A good night's sleep should be a daily priority: Experts
When people are trying to cope with packed schedules day after day, they might put off sleep, thinking they can always catch up later – but doctors are warning that a good night’s sleep is important to health and well-being.

A group of sleep specialists in Montreal wants to raise awareness about the importance of sleep.

Bad sleep has been linked to obesity, cancer, cardiovascular diseases and metabolic disorders. Not getting enough sleep can weaken the immune system.

Unfortunately, sleep problems are widespread in today’s busy world.

One quarter of adults don’t get enough sleep or suffer from chronic insomnia.

Adolescents, who are very much in need of sleep, have the worst record: Up to 80 percent of Canadian students arrive at school sleep-deprived and 43 percent are going to bed very late. But children need at least 9 hours of sleep, which is important for learning, memory retention and academic performance in general.

Playing catch-up on the weekends doesn’t work, according to the sleep experts, who say that fatigue is cumulative.

While some sleep problems are caused by medical problems, others are easily avoidable. They want sleep to play a pertinent role in educational and public policies, along with other priorities such as eating well and exercising.

Source: Canada.com

Tips for a better sleep

Getting enough sleep should be a priority, so here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to getting enough shuteye, according to sleep experts:

  • It’s not a good idea to participate in sports and cultural activities late on weekday nights.
  • People should keep the same bedtime and wake time throughout the week, if possible, or take a short nap on days when they didn’t get enough sleep.
  • Alcohol and sedatives will not lead to a healthy sleep cycle.
  • People should try to keep the bedroom at a comfortable temperature and avoid too much clutter or stimulation.
  • Using an air purifier can provide better indoor air quality and soothing white noise.

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