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The Health Compass: (S)outh = (S)leep

You’ve heard it time and time again. In a similar way a battery gets low and needs recharging, so do our bodies and minds! From the time we get up in the morning to the time we lay down to sleep at night, we are using our muscles for balance, walking, exercising, and pretty much everything we do throughout the day. Even our involuntary muscles, used for breathing and blood flow, are hard at work. Our minds are engaged and firing on all cylinders while we work, drive, and take care of the kids. It takes energy to do all of this. Yes, we do receive our energy in the form of calories through our diet, but we also get it through rest; giving our bodies and minds time to relax and slip into a state of reduced or absent consciousness.

The health compass - are you getting enough sleep imageHow productive we are, how energized we feel, and our overall health are directly related to getting enough sleep. There is no magical number that states every person needs “X” amount of hours of sleep every 24 hours. However, studies do agree on some general numbers that can be used as a guideline (newborns = 16-18 hours per day, preschool = 11-12, school-aged children = at least 10 hours, teens = 9-10 hours, and adults = 7-8).  So, are you getting enough? More often than not, your body will let you know.

If you are having trouble sleeping at night, there are some things you can do to help. White noise, such as a motorized fan or the sound of rain, has been shown to aid sleep. It helps keep your mind from wandering; allowing you to drift off sooner and more deeply. It also helps to keep your bedroom cool and dark. Whatever you do, make sure you get the sleep you need every night in order to take on each and every day.