These sleep hygiene habits ensure better overall health

How much is adequate, eight hours, six hours, according to the age of the people, more hours should be invested in Morpheus… and how many hours do you invest in disconnecting with your mind?

Clarisa Chaves

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If the answer is few hours, or you wake up tired, even if you fell asleep, it is time to think about the harmful effects on your health in the short and long term.

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In a chat with CNN, researchers from the universities of Harvard, Columbia, Miami, and Massachusetts stated that: "Lack of sleep is associated with mortality, it can cause cardiovascular diseases such as diabetes, mental and brain health, respiratory conditions, and cognitive performance." spoke with the Colombian doctor Ana Milena Franco, a specialist in Pneumology and Sonmology, and found intriguing data: “Lack of sleep is a disease that globally affects between 3 to 18% of the general population. Patients suffering from sleep apnea have an increase in cardiovascular mortality between two and three times more than the general population, that is, arrhythmias, increased cholesterol, triglycerides, arterial hypertension, and metabolic alterations. They also present more frequently sudden death of cardiovascular origin during the night.

The doctor points out that we should understand that it is a critical chronic disease and not normalize poor sleep without rest.

But sleep deprivation also affects emotions and the mind “Memory, the quality of life, interfamily and social relationships, and academic and professional performance. All systems suffer because you are not 100%. Some factors influence discomfort and sleeplessness, such as noise pollution, that is, not creating a "relaxed environment" with adequate temperature, equalizing darkness, and silence" says Dr. Franco.

For her part, Columbia University professor, Camela Alcántara, argued that inhabitants of popular neighborhoods have less chance of accessing a well-deserved rest since their environment does not offer silence. “Neighborhoods with greater police surveillance face greater exposure to noise pollution and greater light pollution; these factors impact sleep in the short term and could have cascading effects later on.”

The Colombian somnologist warns about inmediatly consequences as "Muscular pain, back pain, headache, irritability and mood swings, depression, and anxiety." 

In conclusion, the environment conducive to sleeping well depends not only on the mattress, the room, or the company, but also on the internal and external environment where one life. We all complain if the hotel is above a bar and the reflection of blue or red neon lights with the scandal of a street fight. And if this were not the case, why do we try to take places away from the hustle and bustle when we go on vacation?

Do you have to have hygiene to sleep?

The academic researchers agreed that “Movements to change daylight saving time are not advisable” and invites lawmakers to think of clear guidelines such as “delaying the start time of classes and conducting public health campaigns on sleep hygiene”.

The specialist in somnology advises how to have good sleep hygiene:
• Maintain an adequate ideal weight; a body mass index in normal ranges.
• Have a light dinner, three or four hours before sleeping.
• Get up and go to bed at the same hour every day, even on weekends.
Do not drink caffeinated drinks after three in the afternoon.
Do not drink alcohol or stimulants before bed.
• Keep the room at an adequate temperature and darkness.
Do not look at electronic devices or digital screens.


Finally, she points out that "sleeping well is living well and it is necessary to carry out more health care campaigns." For her part, neurology professor Elizabeth Klerman, from Harvard Medical School, concluded in Miami that "We need science, but we also need communication." And you, after reading this article, will you make changes in your environment to sleep better? Have you thought that having insomnia or bad practices at night has been the cause of hypertension that you have today? Maybe, is time to be disciplined even to sleep!

Do you suffer insomnia? Do you sleep but do not rest? Comment on this article and let us know if it was useful to you.

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