How good sleep can improve your overall health

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – We’ve all heard that sleep is important, but how important is it to our overall health? Well, according to several health officials, it’s vital.

There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep, waking up rejuvenated and ready to face the day ahead.
But not many people realize what sleep does for health, both proactively when we’re getting enough and when we’re not getting enough, it has its negative side effects.

Jamie Caldwell, founder of Caldwell Sleep Consulting and pediatric sleep specialist, says that good sleep supports everything from your cardiovascular system, your hormone regulation and even your brain.

“Sleep is absolutely vital to our brain health,” Caldwell told News 19. With sleep, our brains can recover and repair themselves. “It’s able to store new memories, process new information properly, and it’s also very important for brain maturation.”

For children, the maturation process of the brain at a young age is extremely important, as learning and retaining information and getting a decent amount of sleep help the process function efficiently.

Most people think sleep schedules are just for kids, but Caldwell and Wes Stubblefield of the Alabama Department of Public Health agree that sleep schedules have no age limit.

“I tell a lot of my families that trying to stick to the same sleep schedule is not only important for parents and kids, but it makes it a lot easier to stick to one,” Stubblefield said.

Caldwell says when you have a good sleep schedule, your circadian rhythm is happy. The circadian rhythm is a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and repeats itself approximately every 24 hours.

Once it’s in a rhythm, your body can adapt more easily and quickly.

“It will allow the sleep process to function more optimally, which means that if we stick to this good schedule, the process of falling asleep, the process of staying asleep, and achieving restorative REM sleep will be easier,” Caldwell said.

But it can be difficult to find a good schedule after forming a habit.

Both Caldwell and Stubblefield said things like screen time or activity before bed can over-activate your brain and cause restless sleep.

“Not exercising or exercising too close to bedtime, drinking caffeine, looking at screens late at night or leaving screens on at night or making noise, watching TV in your bedroom, these are all terrible things for sleep,” Stubblefield told News 19.

But there’s such a thing as too much sleep, says Caldwell: “Everyone is different, so everyone’s body is different when it comes to adequate amounts of sleep. It’s more about sleep quality than sleep quantity, so it’s definitely quality over quantity when it comes to sleep,” Caldwell said.

Sleep quality means a good deep sleep, sleeping through the night and not waking up all night.

Stubblefield says your bedroom should be a protected space, Caldwell adds that your sleeping environment should welcome sleep and be cavernous, dark, cool and quiet.

But at the end of the day, Caldwell wants people to pay as much attention to their brain health as to any other part of their body.

“It’s so important that we tend to glorify the grind and live without sleep and that’s how we do it and that’s how our society is, but the health of your brain is just as important as any other factor of your body health,” said Caldwell.

While there are dietary supplements and over-the-counter sleep aids, Caldwell recommends practicing healthy sleeping habits to get a good night’s rest.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *