Sex, Sanity and Sleep Part Two
Sleeping is a staple of optimal health just like eating well and exercise. Most adults need 7-8 hours of good quality sleep. But unfortunately, only 40% of Americans get enough sleep.
Complaints of low energy and lack of motivation related to disordered sleep are extremely common after 40. Hormonal changes wreak havoc with a woman's sleeping pattern, and this typically causes daytime fatigue and malaise, and sometimes just feeling overwhelmed.
Not being able to stay asleep is a common complaint of women going through menopause. Exhausted women go to bed and pass out, only to find themselves wide-awake in the early hours of the morning. Poor sleep is probably the second most common symptom in menopausal women after hot flashes.
Getting enough sleep will actually prolong your life. Here's how
Less accidents. One out of five auto accidents in the U.S. results from drowsy driving; that's one million crashes per year.
More sex. Twenty six percent of people say their sex lives suffer because they are just too tired, and men with impaired sleep have been shown to have lower testosterone levels in their blood.
Less pain. When you have less sleep your pain threshold is lower. This is why so many over-the-counter products have added Benedryl like Tylenol PM or Advil PM. The Benedryl is the “PM” and is designed to knock you out.
Sharper memory and clearer thinking. After a good night's sleep you have more focus and your retention and recall is improved. With sleep deprivation it's hard to get rid of the brain “fuzziness.”
Better mood. When you are overtired you are more likely to be cranky, more likely to snap at your boss, burst into tears or even start laughing uncontrollably.
Weight control. There is a hormone called leptin that makes you feel full. When people get less sleep they secrete less of this hormone and tend to gain more weight. In addition they are less active with less energy to work out. People who are tired crave high fat, high calorie food and drink a lot of sodas.
In a 2010 study of women aged 50-79 more deaths occurred in women who got less than six hours of sleep at night than those who got more.
During sleep there is muscle growth and tissue repair and growth hormone release which is desirable.
People who get less than six hours of sleep at night have higher levels of inflammation, which is linked to heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, strokes and premature aging.
If you sleep more, your blood pressure is lower. It is higher with sleep apnea and insomnia.
Studies have shown that your immunity is stronger when you get more sleep.
And finally when you sleep better you look better.
Isn't it wonderful to know you can knock all this out, just by sleeping?
If your hormones are out of whack, get them balanced. Bioidentical Hormone Treatment (BHRT) is a more natural form of Hormone Replacement and the goal is to replace deficiencies and create balance with hormones that are the same as those that your body makes.
Hormones will take your sleep to the next level. Make sleep a priority. It's good for you and critical to your health.
Next month's article will talk about maintaining your memory and your sanity.
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