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Wellness Wednesday: Importance of a good night's sleep

Posted at 5:52 PM, Mar 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-31 19:52:56-04

With daylight saving time, many people may be feeling the impacts of a little less sleep.

Medical Director of the Sleep Medicine Institute at Saint Luke's Dr. Jeffrey Lin said it's important to be getting enough sleep, but the amount of sleep you need gets smaller the older you get. And when you get insufficient sleep, impacts can include excessive sleepiness, poor memory, increased hunger, increased risk of certain medical conditions and suppression of the immune system.

"There has got to be a good reason we sleep a third of our life away. When you don't get good sleep, you don't get any of the good benefits. So instead of feeling restored and ready to go in the day, you feel groggy, your memory is having trouble and you crave sweets in the morning," Lin said.

Lin said one of the biggest concerns is making mistakes at work and even driving accidents due to drowsiness.

A common causes of sleep deprivation can simply be the pressure to always be going.

"Sleep has become a victim of our success. Instead of scheduling enough time for sleep, we are on our phones, watching TV, checking scores and figuring out what the next Tik Tok trend is," Lin said.

Lin said a key to a healthy balance and good night's sleep is going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. Staying off your phone and not eating or drinking much before bed can help for an improved nights sleep as well.

"Yes, even on weekends. Our brain connects to the sun every morning and restarts our circadian rhythm and by getting on a good cycle, we will probably get better sleep," Lin said.