Be Well: Why a good night’s sleep is important to your health

Be Well Health Tips - May 9th, 2024

Reading Time: 3 Minute/s

Be Well Health Tips

Be Well: Why a good night’s sleep is important to your health

Posted on May 9th, 2024 - Reading Time: 3 Minute/s

Sleep: It’s something you do every day but are you doing it right? How much sleep do you really need? What happens when you don’t get enough of it?

These are important questions, because sleep can affect just about everything. Your physical health. Your mental well-being. Your mood. The way you work. How you get along with people.

While there is no magic formula, experts say that most adults need at least 7 hours of sleep each night to keep sharp and healthy. (Young children and teens may need more

And it’s not just about the amount of time. Sleep quality, or how well you are sleeping, is also essential. Signs of poor sleep quality may include feeling tired even after getting enough sleep, or constantly waking up during the night.

Some reasons why good sleep is so important:

  • Body repair: During deep sleep, your brain releases chemicals that help with healing, muscle repair, and new tissue growth. Sleep is a vital time for your body to fix, restore, and reenergize.
  • Mind boost: A good night’s rest helps your brain work properly. It can improve your memory, learning, and problem-solving skills.
  • Immune system support: During sleep, your immune system releases proteins that can help prevent or fight off infections and illnesses.
  • Physical health: Poor sleep has been linked to problems like obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
  • Emotional well-being: Poor sleep or lack of sleep can add to stress, anxiety, and depression.
Did you know
Sleep is closely connected to mental and emotional health. Community Health Plan of Washington (CHPW) members have 24/7 access to support if needed. Visit CHPW’s Behavioral Health center webpage for more info.


“Giving yourself adequate time for healthy sleep is important for you to function at your best and feel your best. A consistent bedtime and wake-up time helps ensure that you get the sleep you need,” said Dr. LuAnn Chen, Senior Medical Director at Community Health Plan of Washington.

“Be sure to allow yourself time to wind down and relax before bedtime (without the use of alcohol or electronic screens).  Developing these daily habits around sleep is more important than the exact amount of time that you sleep. “

Can’t sleep? When to talk to a doctor

Most of us to have problems falling or staying asleep every now and then. But is this happening to you regularly or interfering with your life? Are you snoring a lot or waking up often in the middle of the night? Do you have a hard time staying awake when you are at work or driving?

If the answer to any of those questions is yes, it might be a good idea to talk to your doctor. They may refer you to a sleep specialist to see if you have a sleep disorder.

As many as 70 million Americans have a sleep disorder. Some of the most common ones are:

  • Insomnia: You have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.
  • Sleep apnea: Your breathing stops and starts many times during sleep.
  • Restless leg syndrome: This is a nervous system problem in which you feel like you have to keep moving your legs.
  • Narcolepsy: Your internal alarm clock breaks down and you feel very sleepy during the day.

Help is available

The good news is that there are treatments for each of these sleep problems. These include changing sleep habits (like going to bed at the same time every day), medicines (like sleeping pills), devices (like CPAP machines for apnea), relaxation techniques, and behavioral therapy.

Did you know
Good sleep habits can help you get a good night’s sleep. Some tips for better sleep from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can be found here.


Bottom line: Sleep is a basic human need, just like eating, drinking, and breathing. Don’t think of it as something you can always put off for later. So make sure you get those Zzz’s. Your body and mind will thank you!


Are you a CHPW member and need help with renewing your Apple Health coverage? Call CHPW’s Renewal Team at 1-866-907-1904 (TTY: 711), 8 am – 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday.

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