Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Sleep and Health

It’s been two weeks since my last blog post. I figured that I could use the extra time—and sleep—this time of the year, and you could, too. With the days so short and additional tasks required by the holidays, a good night’s sleep has been just what I need to keep up. Adequate sleep is important throughout the year, but long nights beckon and evoke the health benefits of extra zzz’s.

A little research reveals that good slumber has many health benefits. An article from Shape Magazine notes several health problems, including increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and immune system weakness that correspond to lack of sleep.

The Washington Post reports that lack of sleep is linked to poor health outcomes in several studies, including increased risk of obesity and cancer. . One study showed that poor sleep adds to inflammation in the body, which means that a full night’s rest is particularly important when you are healing.

With all the extra germs that seem to surface this time of the year, it helps to pay extra attention to your immune system. This article from WebMD,, gives four tips to boost your immune system.
1) Eat vegetables
2) Exercise regularly
3) Get plenty of sleep
4) Reduce stress

Healing of any type requires the body’s resources. When you’re awake, these resources are applied to activity. When you’re asleep, your immune system can devote itself to the healing without interruption.

Make yourself as comfortable as possible with the support of pillows, warmth, and whatever else you need so your rest can be complete. Snuggle up and get a few extra winks, for good health.

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