During sleep, a variety of processes occur to restore our minds and bodies to their normal, healthy baseline. When we sleep poorly, our bodies miss out on the chance to recharge, both physically and mentally. Personal sleep needs do vary depending on the person, and sleep needs vary further with age, stress levels, and general health.
You know how you feel when you haven’t slept well. Not only are you tired and lethargic, but you can’t concentrate or think clearly. Trouble is if your sleep problems become chronic, research shows you might suffer more serious effects on your cognitive function over the long term.
“How can you be in your best health when one-third of your life is spent in sleep and you cannot do that?” says neurologist and sleep medicine specialist Winnie Pao, MD. “It’s like over-drafting from your bank account. If you overdraft every day, pretty soon you can’t pay back the interest.”
Sleep is vital for the health of your brain and body, yet a 2018 National Sleep Foundation (NSF) poll indicates that only 10 percent of adults prioritize sleep over other aspects of daily living, such as work and hobbies. So, give your sleep the attention it deserves, and work to address any sleep problems that can sap your cognitive health as well as your energy.
Click here to view sleep resources that are available to caregivers.