The Importance of Sleep

My patients often ask for advice on exercise, diet, and supplements. I always start with the basics. For instance, the most elaborate dietary supplement cannot replace a simple, balanced diet.

Along those same lines, most people ignore the importance of sleep.For instance, we know that our well-being is dependent on a healthy immune system – particularly when it comes to preventing and managing cancer. We also know that immune system function is greatly affected by sleep quality. So it is not a far reach to realize the importance of sleep when it comes to our overall health. In fact, there are many studies showing the relationship of sleep to cardiovascular health.

So how do you have a good night’s sleep? Here are some tips:

  • Realize the importance and commit to it.
  • Strive for a duration that allows you to awaken easily in the morning.Usually 7-8 hours is appropriate for most people.
  • Set up a routine. Try to set your bedtime to the same the same time each night. Try to wake up at the same time each morning, even on the weekends.
  • Do not watch TV in bed. That type of light tends to stimulate the brain.
  • Ban electronics from the bedroom.
  • Sleep on a cool pillow.
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine.
  • Eat a lighter dinner and avoid late night snacking.
  • Keep a pad of paper near your bed to write down any worries that might be occupying your mind.
  • If you still wake up frequently or awaken fatigued, see a sleep doctor.