Lack of Sleep: A Public Health Epidemic

Getting decent sleep at night is a key part of a healthy lifestyle and can benefit your heart, weight and mind. It’s important to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night because lack of sleep can affect your health, looks and even your ability to lose weight. When you don’t get enough sleep at night, it doesn’t just make you cranky in the morning, but it can also lead to serious long term health risks.

Inflammation is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and premature aging. Research indicates that people who get six or less hours of sleep a night have higher levels of inflammatory proteins in their blood than those who get more hours of sleep a night.

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Lack of sleep can suppress your immune system, which makes you vulnerable to infections. During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation or when you’re under stress. In addition, infection fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep.

Many people have experienced sickly, yellow skin and puffy eyes as a result of missing a few nights of sleep. It turns out that chronic sleep loss can also lead to lackluster skin, fine lines and dark circles under the eyes.

When you don’t get enough sleep your body releases more stress hormones. In excess amounts, this hormone can break down skin collagen, the protein that keep skin smooth and elastic.

Many of us try to sleep as little as possible. While so many things seem more interesting or important than getting a few more hours of sleep, just like exercise and nutrition are vital to staying healthy, so is getting the good night’s rest.

Are You Smarter Than A Bed Bug?

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A good night’s sleep is essential to your mental, emotional and physical health. Yet most people do not get the necessary seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Better sleep can be as simple as getting a better mattress from your local Houston mattress store.

The Better Sleep Council, a non-profit organization, was established in 1979. Its goal is to educate the public about the importance of sleep, how it affects your health and how the value of your mattress and sleep environment impacts your sleep.

Do you think you know what the perfect bedroom is like? Test your knowledge on mattress care, sleep surroundings and more by taking The Better Sleep Council’s quizzes at http://bettersleep.org/about/quizzes/

After you’re tested your knowledge, take advantage of other features and information on their site such as sleep positions, sleep disorders, sleep aids and more!

Sleep Cycle Apps That Help you get Better Sleep

76728681-smallAfter purchasing a new mattress from the mattress store, it can take some getting used to breaking in your new bed. In most cases, your smartphone may not the best source of relaxation. It’s easy to get distracted with social apps and games that can keep you up. Luckily, there are now plenty of smartphone apps to help you fall asleep in times of need.

A bed time routine is the key to a good night’s sleep and health practitioners recommend that adults get at least seven hours of sleep a night. Sleep tracking gadgets and smartphone apps can help you monitor your sleep habits and cycles.

aSleep

aSleep is the original sleep helper app with plenty of tools to help you fall asleep. It includes relaxing sounds, timers, alarms, volume and speeds in which is sounds play.

Available for iPhone.

Pzizz

Pzizz sleep app aims to cure insomnia and keep users in a deep state of sleep throughout the night. With more than one billion soundtrack combinations, your mind won’t get bored by the monotony of a repetitive track every night!

Available for iPhone.

Long Deep Breathing

This app promotes the practice of deep breathing for better health. By practicing slowing your breathing, you will benefit by calming your body and mind for a nice long relaxing sleep.

Available for iPhone.

For more apps, visit http://mashable.com/2010/06/24/iphone-better-sleep/.