Answers to Your Questions on Health and Sleep
On this website, you will discover:
- The links between health and sleep
- What are the qualities, pitfalls, remedies, and characterisitcs of sleep?
- What is the connections between good health and sleep?
Your Questions Are Answered Here
Rest and repair are fundamental to all life. Sleep fulfills that need. Unfortunately, there are many pitfalls to good sleep. These pages discuss such pitfalls and remedies and how good health and sleep are related. Sleep is but one factor in a host of factors that are involved in health and well-being. Many health related issues affect sleep, and, in turn, sleep affects these health issues. So, what are some of these factors?
- Your mental health
- Your nutritional status
- The amount and type of exercise you do
- Stress, both physical and mental
- Your immune system
- And many other factors which will be discussed
But first let’s talk about questions related to sleep: Why do we need to sleep? What is sleep? How is sleep organized? Who is involved in doing sleep research? THE “WHY” OF SLEEP Why do you need to sleep at all? Good question. Scientists don’t completely know the answer to that question. However, there are many theories, a few of which are listed below:
- For rejuvenation. That is, for rest and repair, to recharge our batteries.
- To conserve our energy. You use less energy while you sleep.
- For good memory. Sleep has been linked to memory preservation.
- For good health. Scientists have discovered links between sleep and good health and links between poor sleep and health problems, such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular problems, inflammation, coping with emotional stress and the list goes on.
THE WHAT OF SLEEP: To understand problems with sleep, you must first understand what is good sleep? How much sleep do you need? How is sleep organized? What are the rhythms of sleep? While the average person will require between 7 -8 hours of sleep, you may require more or less than that. So, the amount of sleep differs between people. You need enough good quality to sleep to feel refreshed, energized, and alert the next day. Good sleep can be measured by objective laboratory procedures, but ultimately its how you feel about your sleep that’s important. Sleep can be divided into 5 stages: 1,2,3,4, and REM, which cycle in a 90-100 minute rhythm throughout the night. So, its not only the amount of sleep, but the type of sleep that defines good sleep. THE “WHO” OF SLEEP: The number of sleep labs or centers has steadily increased since the mid-1990s. However, there are over 100 clinical sleep disorders and millions of people affected by them. This creates a backlog of patients waiting to be diagnosed and treated for sleep problems. Today, there are an estimated 3,000 to 3,500 sleep centers operating in the United States. Nearly 1,400 of these are accredited.