The importance of sleep for a healthy life

Contemporary society versus sleep

The benefits of a good night sleep are well known nowadays. However, in the World Sleep Day – celebrated every 16th March -, specialists keep reminding us how our routines are contradicting this knowledge and harming our health, in many cases without realizing it.

The pressure of work and the aim to fulfil the demands of the labour market are making people changing their priorities, placing the sleep time at the bottom. In fact, this behaviour causes diurnal fatigue, concentration problems and symptoms of anxiety, irritability and excessive diurnal somnolence, seriously prejudicing our performance. According to the Portuguese Sleep Society, sleep deprivation affects the memory, synthesis formation, hormones’ release, weakening the immune system and generating several other diseases.

How to get a better sleep

There are some easy and effective tips to help you to get a quiet night:

Adopt the habit of going to bed and wake up always at the same hour. The sun is a sort of time clock that regulates the balance between the environment and the human body’s rhythm. Normally, the human’s endogenous rhythm prepares the body to wake up at 6 am producing cortisol (the hormone responsible for activity and movement), and releases melatonin (the hormone responsible for sleep) at 9 pm, reaching its peak roughly at 12pm.

 

 

Avoid intellectual work (especially if it requires computer’s usage) at night and write a to-do-list instead. According to some surveys, this task will help you to ‘offload’ anxious thoughts and reduce your concerns.

 

 

Turn off smartphones, televisions, and tablets before you go to bed. The blue light issued by these devices suppresses melatonin’s release which affects our sleep and can cause insomnia.

 

 

Soothing infusions like chamomile, tilia, valerian and lavender help the body to relax and have a better sleep night. Coffee, soda, and guarana are the forbidden drinks during the evening.

 

 

Sometimes the origin of lack of sleep is anatomic or psychological. In these cases, a consultation with a specialist is essential to identify and tackle the problem. Medical Port can help you to find the right specialist and to guide you while in Portugal.

World Health Day

April 7 is the day the World Health Organization chose as the World Health Day. Every year WHO celebrates this day with the goal to discuss health issues around the world that affect millions of people.

This year, the theme is Food Safety. With globalization comes the importance to ensure the safety of food supply, since ingredients travel long distances before they reach the consumers plate.

Medical Port wants to celebrate the World Health Day by discussing a topic that is transversal to everyone no matter their age, gender or nationality. The topic is health prevention. Health prevention is about taking care of your health and your family’s health making sure everything is fine by doing a regular health check-up. Every person should do a health check-up once a year. When was the last time you had one? 

These health check-up exams can outwit diseases that aren’t manifested yet. And early detection is the key to a successful treatment. Appropriate preventive care is important in every stage of life, but it becomes especially important after a certain age, usually 40 for both males and females.

Besides a regular health check-up individuals should live a healthy life, by paying special attention to the way they eat, sleep and exercise. Eat well is one of the main drivers of a good health. The Mediterranean diet, based on fresh ingredients, is a great way to start. Reducing the amount of meat and increasing the amount of fish, vegetables, fruits and grains are the grounds of a balanced diet. Sleep well is also important and a better nutrition brings better sleep. It’s not about how many hours people sleep per night but is about feeling rested in the morning. Practicing exercise is a driver of good health and everyone should do it as part of a healthy lifestyle. Even the ones who can’t practice exercise, everyone should at least walk 20 to 30 minutes every day. Physical inactivity is a major health problem worldwide and the benefits of exercising affect several health outcomes.

A healthy lifestyle is like a circle, where eating, sleeping and exercising go together and influence each other. Influencing the overall health condition.

Celebrate World Health Day with Medical Port by doing something for your health today and set goals for a healthy lifestyle. Let us know what was your decision and if there is something we can do to help you.

World health day
World health day