Do you struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep at night? According to Sleep Med of Santa Barbara, a sleep disorder diagnosis and treatment center, as many as 70 million Americans suffer from some type of sleep or wakefulness disorder.

It’s frustrating when you lie down at night, only to stare at the alarm clock for hours on end. You may wake the following morning feeling tired and groggy. Aside from its negative impact on energy levels, however, lack of sleep may cause other problems.

Regulates Hormone and Neurotransmitter Levels

When you sleep, it allows your body to regulate the production and release of key hormones and neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. Granted, your body will continue to produce these chemicals even if you suffer from a sleep disorder, but the levels won’t be properly regulated, which may in turn cause mood changes and other unwanted side effects.

Improves Productivity

It’s difficult to put your best foot forward at work when you are tired and groggy. People who don’t get the recommended amount of sleep typically produce less work, as well as lower quality work.

Reduces Risk of Injury

If you work in a job that requires you to operate heavy machinery, you should beware of the impact sleep has on your safety. Some experts suggests that up to 100,000 automobile accidents each year in the U.S. are attributed to sleepiness. Whether it’s a forklift, box truck or even a power tool, lack of sleep can increase your risk of injury by slowing down your body’s reaction times.

Lowers Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

A recent study published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology found that people who sleep too much or too little have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. For the study, researchers recruited 47,000 men and women, analyzing their sleep habits and heart health. Researchers discovered that participants who slept five or fewer hours per night had 50% more calcium in their arteries than participants who slept seven hours. Participants who slept nine or more hours per night had 70% more calcium in their arteries.

Here are some tips for healthier sleep habits:

  • Avoid caffeine for at least three hours prior to bedtime.
  • Avoid tobacco and alcohol.
  • Create a sleep schedule in which you go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
  • Eliminate any and all distractions from your bedroom. This may include the TV, nightlight, your smartphone, sounds originating from other parts of the house, etc.
  • Increase your intake of healthy omega fats, such as those found in nuts and extra-virgin olive oil. Doing so will increase your serotonin levels, which should make it easier you to fall asleep.
  • Call Summit Chiropractic. Correcting subluxations within the musculoskeletal system may promote better, more restful sleep.