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The importance of our sleep quality to improve our mental health


What is good sleep quality some might ask? Good sleep quality in my opinion is your ability to get uninterrupted sleep for 8 hours per night. Getting more sleep allows us to get sick less often and stay a healthy weight due to an increase in our resting metabolic rate (RMR) which is the number of calories our bodies burn when we are at complete rest. Different people have different resting metabolic rates due to differences in age, height, weight, sex and muscle mass. Lack of sleep can alter our glucose metabolism and hormones involved with our resting metabolic rate and it can alter the glucose metabolism and hormones involved in regulating metabolism, which is due to a decrease in leptin levels and an increase in ghrelin levels.



Some of the benefits of good sleep quality are the reduction of stress and improvement of your mood throughout the working day which can lower your risk for developing health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Studies have also shown that better sleep quality allows us to think more clearly and produce better results in the workplace along with getting along better with other people which leads to more positive relationships in the workplace, with friends outside the work place and with our partners or families.






In the next paragraphs I’m going to discuss the lifestyle, psychological, environmental and medical conditions that cause sleep deprivation and sleep disruption for majority of people aswell as how to control those factors to get better sleep quality.



There are many lifestyle factors that can affect our sleep and cause us disruption in the night such as jet lag, having a baby, drug abuse, drinking alcohol and consuming too much caffeine throughout the day. This can be controlled by structuring and monitoring your consumption of alcohol and caffeine, forming a strict routine or by going to bed early if you have a young child.






Some of the psychological factors associated with lack of sleep or sleep disruption are generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), excessive worry or stress from work along with depression. Some of the symptoms of this are tightness in the chest or chest pain and tension in the frontal or temporal lobe causing a headache or migraine. This can be controlled through adequate diet and hydration, meditation daily and studying the art of mindfulness. Incorporating yoga into your exercise program and going for hikes, walks along the beach or going for a swim are all healthy ways you can practice the art of mindfulness.





Environmental factors that affect our sleep quality are excessive noise and excessive light. Living with a shift worker, living outside a train station or on a main road are examples of potential problems with this. Ways to control this might be to have a discussion with the shift worker to work out a solution that works for both of you and if you live in a noisy area have a look into making your bedroom as sound proof as possible.



Medical conditions such as lung cancer, kidney disease, diabetes and certain neurological disorders can all cause people to lose sleep. If you have a medical condition it is your responsibility to work with your doctor as best as you can to find the best medication for your condition and try some natural remedies to improve your quality of sleep.



References

Medic G, (2017) Short- and long-term health consequences of sleep disruption



Magnavita N, (2017) Sleep, Health and Wellness at Work: A Scoping Review



Get Enough Sleep.

Healthfinder.gov,




 


About the Author Nic Rider is a corporate health and well-being coach with 8 years experience in the health and fitness industry. He is one of the top age group triathletes in Australia practicing what he preaches as he believes in leading by example to help inspire others. Nic has coached 100's of corporate professionals to start exercise, lose weight, build muscle and improve cardiovascular health along with injury rehabilitation. He has coached clients to run marathons and participate in triathlons along with climb mountains in the Himalayas.


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