It’s understandable, when the doctor tells you to do something you might take their recommendation with a grain of salt.
That recommendation to eat fewer processed foods might come with a caveat for allowing cheat days, or exercising more to ward off the negative effects of that kind of food.
However, researchers are reporting if your doctor tells you to get more sleep, you definitely need to listen.
Apart from feeling great, getting the right amount of sleep is an incredibly important and restorative action that can lead to serious breakthroughs in health.
The American Thoracic (ATS) society has said when people get the right amount of sleep it not only helps with individual health but also works to promote better public safety as well.
David Gozal of The University of Chicago was one of the coauthors of the study.
The researchers were merely attempting to better inform themselves as well as the public on the crucial need for more sleep. “The purpose of this document was not to challenge the existing scientific evidence, merely create and make accessible a succinct summary of the scientific evidence regarding the importance of sleep to health,” he said.
Their research helped to inform them in regards to what was the optimal amount of sleep.
“For adults, less than six hours of sleep per night or more than nine to 10 hours per night may be linked to negative health outcomes, so the sweet spot is somewhere in between, according to the statement published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.”
This should give Americans a bit more wiggle room when it comes to figuring out the right amount of sleep.
What it doesn’t do is release them from the responsibility of getting more sleep, as the researchers note, it’s a matter of public safety.
“The authors also recommend that all drivers, including teens learning to drive, receive education about how to recognize the symptoms and consequences of drowsy driving and encourage public education about the impact of working hours and shift work on sleep duration and quality and its association with workplace injuries.”
It also opened up the floor for discussion on what the appropriate treatments are for people who have difficulty when it comes to catching a few more Zzz’s at night.
“Physicians need to stress the importance of good quality sleep to their patients. And, they should be taught that cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective treatment for insomnia, rather than trying hypnotics and sedatives first, the statement authors emphasize.”
How exactly could one know if they’re getting the right amount of sleep you might wonder?
Gozal notes “If you awake on your own, feeling well, in a good mood, with positive energy and a favorable outlook to the day ahead, then it is very likely that your sleep was sufficient and good quality.”
At the end of the day, Gozal notes, people should value sleep, the same way they would any other precious resource.
“At all ages and across all cultures and professions, the public needs to acquire the deep understanding that similar to other healthy behaviors, sleep is not a tradable commodity but rather is a life sustaining physiological function that needs to be as respected and revered as your bank account,” Gozal said.