Most mornings, the question, “How did you sleep last night?” starts the conversation between my husband and me. When my kids were teenagers, I was constantly bugging them about how they slept—if only to find a reason for their irritability.
I used to be a great sleeper, but one of the things I have really noticed about getting older is the way that my sleep quality is changing. Sure, there are still mornings when I wake up refreshed and energized, but my sleep has been changing enough that I am starting to experience more and more of those “not-so-great” mornings, too.
So, why is this even worth my time to share? Because as my good night’s sleep becomes more elusive, I feel the impact more and more. Of course, I already know that sleep is important. Everyone knows sleep is important. Forty years ago, my grandma used to tell me that nothing was more important than a good night’s sleep.
Fast forward to 2017, and now there are hundreds of credible authorities who have used research and compiled data to back up the importance of sleep. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has linked insufficient sleep to many chronic health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, depression and some cancers. Beyond the health link, they also point out some important public health issues that are caused by people sleeping too little. They have linked lack of sleep to thousands of automobile crashes, industrial accidents and medical errors. On a daily basis, insufficient sleep has been shown to affect concentration, memory and overall performance on daily activities. I definitely notice a decrease in my ability to focus after I have had a bad night of sleep.
In keeping with our mission at Breathe Pennsylvania to help our community live and breathe better, I will be sharing lots of information about sleep quality, effects of poor sleep, sleep apnea and what can be done about it.
If you have a personal story about sleep and breathing, stay tuned! I’d love to hear from you as we explore this journey together.
Here’s to a good night’s sleep tonight!