Sleep is Vital
Describing how sleep is vital for mental health, Matthew Walker writes “Scientists have discovered a revolutionary new treatment that makes you live longer. It enhances your memory, makes you more attractive. It keeps you slim and lowers food cravings. It protects you from cancer and dementia. It wards off colds and flu. It lowers your risk of heart attacks and stroke, not to mention diabetes. You’ll even feel happier, less depressed, and less anxious. Are you interested?” This quote is from his book “Why We Sleep”. The new treatment is sleep. Good sleep. Restorative sleep.
Walker states “Routinely sleeping less than six or seven hours a night demolishes your immune system, more than doubling your risk of cancer. Sleep disruption further contributes to all major psychiatric conditions, including depression, anxiety, and suicide.”
Sleep is too often neglected
We overlook and under appreciate sleep in our 24/7 world. We tend to pin badges on those type A personalities who are non-stop dynamos of productivity. But not without a price. Lack of sleep contributes to so many health and mental problems, it should be a top priority in developing a treatment plan. Dr.Walker also points out that traditional sleeping pills can keep you from the deep healing sleep stage. As a result, it perpetuates the sleep problem.
Right now, get as much sleep as you can without changing any medications. Sleep is vital. So is conferring with your provider if you are on medications. Never stop a medication on your own and always let your provider know if you are encountering sleep problems or other side effects. In addition, do not add any herbal or natural sleep aids if you are medication. It is possible to get more sleep, but it needs to be carefully supervised to keep you safe.
No supplement, should be used without clearance from your physician or healthcare provider. This article is not a substitute for direct, personal, professional medical care and diagnosis.