The Importance of Sleep to a Healthy Lifestyle

When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, the most important factors seem quite obvious, and yet, it’s still worth repeating them over and over again as the simple fact is that most people continually fail to take many of these most basic steps. It doesn’t take a PhD in Nutrition for someone to know that things like eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting plenty of exercise are of great importance for your overall level of health. Similarly, we all know that things like not smoking and refraining from drinking alcohol in excess are also part of a living a healthy lifestyle.
We all know how important these things are, and yet many of us still find ourselves eating fast food several times a week and spending the evenings in front of the TV, then complaining that we don’t exercise because we can’t find the time due to our busy, hectic schedules. The point of this isn’t to lecture anyone, but simply to point out how easy it is to overlook even the most basic aspects of a healthy lifestyle. Still, while diet and exercise are often ignored, there’s one area that’s equally important that we tend to pay even less attention and that’s sleep.
We’ve all heard that it’s important to get a full eight hours of sleep each night, but many of us feel that we’re able to function on just a couple hours. Moreover, due to our modern, hectic lifestyles, many of us routinely due this most nights of the week, which can have disastrous consequences for our health over the long run. In fact, inadequate sleep has been linked to a whole host of health conditions, from cancers to heart disease and numerous other ailments.
The problem is that many of us have trouble falling asleep at night, lying there tossing and turning for hours, thinking about work, family, or simply how many hours until we have to get up in the morning. Or worse yet, you stay up late for hours in front of the TV or on the computer or your phone, thinking that there’s no point going to bed yet as you don’t feel tired enough to fall asleep.
If this sounds like you, it’s not actually your fault, as you can equally blame the TV, computer, and basically electricity in general. This is because our brains work based on light, releasing chemicals to make us tired when it gets dark. This means that the TV and electric lights are actually preventing you from becoming tired. So next time you’re struggling to fall asleep why not read a book by a small lamp or take a candlelit bath instead. You’ll soon find yourself a better way to fall asleep, and surely the easiest step to a healthy lifestyle you’ll ever take.