Good rest is good for you. Don’t Deprive yourself.

{ By Parrish Medical Center | Community Services }

Did you get enough sleep over the holidays? Probably not. But no matter where you are in life — twenty-something, married with kids and a career, or a senior enjoying your retirement — getting enough sleep will help you live a longer, healthier life.

According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), sleeping too little can cause you to put on weight because sleep deprivation increases appetite (think about all the holiday goodies you enjoyed.) It can also raise your risk for diabetes, heart problems and depression. Not getting enough rest can impair your attention and retention skills, too, and lead to an increased chance of car accidents.

Also, adults who sleep less than seven hours a night have greater odds of getting a cold compared to people who sleep eight hours or more a night, says a study published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

What’s Enough?
The NSF says healthy adults should get between seven and nine hours of sleep a night. Plus, quality is just as important as quantity. If you wake up frequently and have trouble getting back to sleep, that “sleep debt” can be harmful over time.

If you do shift work or travel across time zones a lot, it’s also likely you’re not getting the quality of sleep your body needs. Other conditions that aggravate sound slumber include insomnia, sleep apnea, or restless leg syndrome.

How to Get More ZZZs
For most people, simple changes can help a lot. If you try the tips listed below and still can’t sleep well, you may want to talk to your doctor.

For better sleep:
1. Don’t consume caffeine or alcohol in the late afternoon and evening, and don’t smoke.
2. Get regular exercise, but not within three hours of bedtime.
3. Don’t nap during the day if you can’t sleep at night.
4. Create a pleasant, comfortable, dark and quiet sleeping environment.
5. Develop a bedtime routine that lets you relax.

Start the New Year right by getting the right amount and right kind of sleep.

Download the Parrish HealthBridge app at ParrishMed.com/app. You’ll get biometric health trackers for weight, glucose, cholesterol, medications, etc. and daily reminders; first-aid tools with information you can use anywhere, anytime; and educational information including tests, procedures and first aid from Mayo Clinic.

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