We strive to get in shape by eating healthier foods, drinking enough water and exercising often, but often forget to get enough sleep.
Lisa Morrone is a physical therapist, speaker, and author of several books including Get Healthy, for Heaven’s Sake. She offers a balanced, biblical approach to a healthy life and reminds us of the importance of a good night’s sleep.
Although many of us think that weight loss is the key to a healthier life, there is something more valuable to our health: Sleep!
“Dr. William Dement, the co-founder of Stanford Sleep Center, has said that there’s plenty of compelling evidence out there that sleep is the number one predictor of how long we’ll live. The sleep deprivation that we have as a nation, 74 % percent of us being under slept, is the beginning of the downfall of our health.”
Do some people actually need less sleep?
Lisa sheds light on this question through valuable research and experience in the medical field.
“That is that a common misconception is that some people need less sleep. Study after study has shown that we need 7-8 hours of sleep a night as adults 20 and over. That’s really important because some people can get by with less sleep and maybe some more coffee, but that doesn’t mean that they’re tricking their body.”
Our bodies will recover if we lack sleep every so often, but Lisa warns us of the dangers of not getting enough sleep on a regular basis.
“Sleep debt is cumulative just like financial debt is. Over the years, we started cumulating disease and disability within our bodies because we’re not well slept.”
What does a good night’s sleep do for our bodies?
Studies show that sleep can impact our internal and external health. We are reminded of the harmful effects we could be causing our bodies by being underslept.
“Just one night of 5 hours of sleep as opposed to 7 hours sleep, we can see market changes in the immune systems health. If we add that up, day after day, week after week, year after year and we’re chronically underslept, we’re starting to build a whole lot of imbalances in our body in terms of our hormones and our chemicals. We’re also accelerating our aging process, and when we’re underslept, we actually unbalance our hungry hormones and our satisfied hormones. We have our hormones working against us and we actually gain more weight because we’re underslept.”
With a proper night’s rest, the right foods and enough exercise, we will be on the right track to a healthier lifestyle that is honoring to God.