Sleep is a crucial part of staying healthy. While sleeping, you restore your energy levels. Most adults require seven to eight hours of sleep a night to complete a full cycle of sleep. The importance of sleep is about more than staving off feeling groggy the next day; it has long term benefits as well. David Oliver, DO, an osteopathic physician from Ocala, Florida outlines the risks of sleep deprivation and how to make sure you are well rested.
“Sleep is one of the best ways to cope with things such as stress, problem solving, and illness,” says Dr. Oliver. “When you are sleeping, your brain has a chance to recharge itself.” Dr. Oliver points out the risks involved with getting insufficient sleep:
When you sleep, you cycle between two different stages of sleep: non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. “REM sleep occurs more frequently in infants and adolescents,” Dr. Oliver points out. What happens during these stages is as follows:
Dr. Oliver reminds us that caffeine and other stimulants cannot overcome the effects of severe sleep deprivation. “REM and NREM are important to go though to prevent sleep deprivation risks from occurring.”
The amount of sleep needed can change with how deprived of sleep you are, but Dr. Oliver suggests aiming for at least seven to eight hours every night. “Think of sleeping like a bank. When you don’t get enough sleep, you are overdrawing your account and need to repay your debt. The more you take out, the more sleep you need to function,” Dr. Oliver concludes.
Preventive medicine is just one aspect of care osteopathic physicians provide. DOs are fully licensed to prescribe medicine and practice in all specialty areas, including surgery. DOs are trained to consider the health of the whole person and use their hands to help diagnose and treat their patients.