Sleep and Health

Sleep and Health


The debilitating detriments of sleep deprivation

Sleep and Health

Doctor Andy’s Wellness Corner
By: Andy Marrone, D.C.
Clinic Director,
Redmond Ridge Chiropractic

So far in the past months we have been covering the six pillars of health. The next one is proper amount of sleep.
Why do we need sleep? According to the Kandel’s Principles of NeuroScience (the standard textbook for both medical and chiropractic schools), the proper amount of shut-eye is necessary for mental health, production of important neurotransmitters, learning, and to allow the body to heal and recover. Catching the proper amount of Z’s is also necessary for weight loss, and lower stress levels (see my previous article on stress and health).
So how many Z’s should we catch anyway? According to the National Institute of Health, teenagers need about 9 hours on average while most adults require about 8 hours of “Z’s”. A study done in 2009 by the Center for Disease Control found that more than 35 percent of Americans reported averaging fewer than seven hours of shut eye per night. In February of 2014, the American Psychological Association recommended that Americans only need another 60-90 minutes of sleep per night to improve their health.
What are the dangers of lack of rest? The National Institute of Health states many studies make it clear sleep deprivation is dangerous. Sleep-deprived people who are driving perform as badly as or worse than those who are intoxicated. Driver fatigue is responsible for an estimated 100,000 motor vehicle accidents and 1500 deaths each year according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is important to note caffeine and other stimulants CANNOT overcome the effects of lack of Z’s” deprivation. The National Sleep Foundation states if you have trouble keeping your eyes focused, if you can’t stop yawning, or if you can’t remember driving the last few miles, you are probably too drowsy to drive safely.

Sleep Hygiene Tips (from the National Sleep Foundation):

Go to bed at the same time each night & rise at the same time each morning.
Avoid large meals before bedtime.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime.
Avoid nicotine.

Tips for a Good Night’s Rest (from the National Sleep Foundation):

Set a schedule for shut eye
Avoid caffeine, nicotine, drugs and alcohol:
Relax before bed
Rest until sunlight
Don’t lie in bed awake
Control your room temperature