Sleep Drives a Healthy Body

by Dr. Dana Rockey, DMD, Owner, Prescott Sleep Solutions

Sleep disorders are growing in the United States, putting men, women and children of all ages at risk of disease.

Our bodies need to be fueled properly to stay healthy and strong. They also need time to regenerate and restore. Sleep is an active state that promotes health in every organ of your body, especially your brain and your heart.

Fuel up right

The trillions of cells that make up your body need the right kind of fuel to function optimally and help you achieve your goals. Concentrate on choices like these for your family’s menu:

  • Fresh or frozen plain vegetables
  • Fresh fruits
  • Grass-fed and pastured meats, poultry, eggs
  • Wild-caught fish
  • Whole, sprouted grains
  • Well-cooked legumes
  • Herbs and spices

You and your family can learn about new flavors and textures by exploring world cuisine in your own kitchen. In addition to adding in more whole foods, gradually (or quickly) cut out nonfoods and inflammatory foods such as:

  • Sugar
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Fruit juice
  • Refined grains
  • Trans fats
  • Processed meats
  • Processed foods
  • Junk food

Use it, don’t lose it

Your muscles, joints, heart and brain all require activity and exercise to keep them limber, nimble and working at their peak.

Keep your family active by:

  • Playing sports
  • Swimming together
  • Joining teams
  • Lifting weights
  • Taking family walks/runs
  • Using resistance bands
  • Taking a dance class
  • Trying yoga or tai chi

Recharge, restore

Even if you or your family try to sleep through the night, if any of you have a sleep breathing disorder called sleep apnea, you are not getting the fully restorative rest you need to detoxify and fuel your cells. Sleep apnea is a common condition that affects about a quarter of U.S. adults. Children also can be affected.

Apnea is a pause in breathing, which can take place hundreds of times a night. It can interrupt your sleep. You might wake yourself by snoring or gagging if you have sleep apnea. This is referred to as interrupted sleep and is not serving to restore your body.

Adults and children with sleep apnea might also grind their teeth at night, a condition known as bruxism. A custom designed oral appliance that holds your lower jaw forward to keep your airway open as you sleep, may be recommended. The appliance also protects your teeth from grinding.