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Signs you need more sleep

Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

Sleep is an essential part of human health and well-being. Getting enough sleep helps to improve physical and mental health, cognitive function, and overall quality of life.

 

Sleep helps you form and maintain pathways in your brain that give you the ability to create new memories and learn. Without adequate sleep, you will find it difficult to concentrate. It will also be difficult to respond quickly to stimuli.

Why is Sleep Essential?

There are many benefits to getting enough sleep. Sleep is necessary to restore molecular, cellular, or network changes in your body, which occur specifically before waking, explains NCBI. Some of the benefits include:

 

  • Improved memory and cognitive function: Sleep helps to integrate memories and process new information. During sleep, the brain organises and processes the events of the day, helps us learn and remember new things, and improves problem-solving skills.
  • Physical health: Sleep is vital for physical health as it helps to repair and regenerate tissues, muscles, and organs. It is understood that sleep helps the body maintain its immune system. However, more research is needed in this area to gain a deeper understanding.
  • Safety: Lack of sleep can affect judgement, reaction times, and coordination. This increases the risk of accidents and injuries.

 

Factors such as stress, diet, exercise, and the environment, can affect sleep quality. It is crucial to create a sleep-friendly environment and establish good sleep habits to get a good night’s rest. This may include creating a comfortable sleep environment, setting a consistent bedtime routine, and limiting screen time before bed.

Signs You Need To Sleep More

Sleep deprivation is when you aren’t sleeping enough or getting good quality sleep. Prolonged deprivation can interfere with various routine activities when you are awake. Long-term sleep deprivation can worsen major but treatable health conditions.

Some of the effects of not getting enough sleep include the following:

  • Daytime sleepiness and fatigue: Not getting enough sleep can lead to fatigue and difficulty staying awake during the day. This can affect work performance, concentration, and staying alert while driving.
  • Mood changes: Lack of sleep can affect mood, leading to irritability, anxiety, and even depression.
  • Weakened immune system: Sleep maintains a healthy immune system, and not getting enough sleep can increase the risk of developing illnesses and infections.
  • Weight gain: Lack of sleep can affect metabolism and appetite regulation, leading to weight gain.
  • Increased risk of developing chronic conditions: Chronic sleep deprivation is linked to an increased risk of developing conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.

Which Diet Promotes The Best Sleep?

There is emerging information surrounding the impact of sleep duration and quality on food choice and consumption, says Oxford Academic. This is true in both children and adults. Dietary guidelines that may help to promote sleep include:

 

  • Eating a well-balanced diet: A healthy diet consisting of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins helps promote sleep.
  • Limiting caffeine and alcohol: Caffeine and alcohol are stimulants that can interfere with sleep. It is best to avoid consuming these substances close to bedtime.
  • Avoiding heavy meals before bedtime: Eating a large, heavy meal close to bedtime can cause indigestion and discomfort that may disrupt sleep.
  • Including sleep-promoting foods: Some foods that may help to promote sleep include cherries and kiwi fruit, which contain the sleep hormone melatonin, which has been shown to improve sleep quality. Other sleep-promoting foods include dairy products, nuts, and whole grains.
  • Staying hydrated: Proper hydration can also help to promote sleep.

When To See A Doctor

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that affects physical and mental health. It is defined as difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting restful sleep, despite the opportunity to do so.

 

There are several types of insomnia, including:

  • Acute insomnia: This is a short-term form of insomnia caused by various factors, such as stress, travel, or environmental changes.

In summary, sleep is an essential aspect of overall health and well-being.

 

If you are experiencing difficulty sleeping, contact a healthcare professional to determine the cause and discuss treatment options and lifestyle changes.

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