The longer I work in the Health and Fitness industry, the more and more convinced I become about just how important sleep is for our health and well-being. Truthfully, the concept of good sleep being important for health is not new. It doesn’t take a preponderance of research to know that if you aren’t sleeping enough, you don’t feel so great. But in the past few years, as the wearable fitness tracking devices have become popular, we have gained even more solid evidence to prove and explain the connection between sleep and health.
Currently in the research, we can definitively say that getting a good amount of quality sleep is correlated with many different health outcomes. According to Harvard Medicine, risks of developing diabetes, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and even the common cold go up exponentially when an individual does not get enough sleep.
We still don’t fully understand the mechanisms involved, but the correlations are clear.
Getting enough quality sleep is multi-factorial. If you are in a stage of life where you are sacrificing your sleep to keep an infant alive, you deserve a round of applause, not a guilt trip! But there are a few tips that can help most of us to improve our sleep. Many of these suggestions are also found on the CDC website:
This is not an exhaustive list, but some of the more common ideas I often discuss with clients. Again, please do not feel guilty when there are circumstances outside of your control! You might be able to choose one or two things that can help, or you might just need to be amazed at what your body can accomplish even if it is sleep deprived during this season!
I’d love to hear from you! What has worked for you or what would you like to incorporate in the next few weeks to encourage better sleep?
Katie Kolb - Health Coach