Why Is Sleep So Important?
Sleep is vital to our health and well-being because it affects our ability to function and perform our daily activities. Sleep repairs and restores our body and brain to prepare us for the following day. During our sleep, our bodies and mind work to maintain our health and immunity.
Poor sleep can damage our health and well-being, and for those who experience regular sleep deficiencies, they can be at risk of developing chronic health problems. Studies show that poor sleep can result in memory issues, mood changes, a weakened immune system, trouble thinking and concentrating, high blood pressure, weight gain, and a higher risk of accidents.
5 Proven Reasons to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
1. Deep sleep for a recommended 7 to 8 hours per night will make your heart healthy! Lack of proper sleep has long been associated with higher blood pressure and cholesterol, putting you at risk for developing heart disease.
2. Quality sleep will boost your immunity by strengthening your cells and increasing the body’s defenses against infection. While we sleep, the effectiveness of our T-cells is enhanced, which increases the body’s ability to destroy cells infected with pathogens or viruses.
3. Sleep reduces inflammation in our bodies and helps identify ailments within the body to heal and restore.
4. A healthy sleeping pattern equates to helping maintain a healthy body weight. It keeps our hormones in balance and will regulate our appetite. Lack of proper sleep is associated with increased cravings for high-fat and high-carbohydrate foods that lead to weight gain.
5. Sleep is a very powerful stress reducer. When you get a good night’s sleep night after night, your body and mind are better equipped to handle the day’s demands.
The Impact of Stress and Sleep
It’s no surprise that stress and poor sleep have a direct relationship with one another. Stress can cause sleep deprivation or insomnia, and deprived sleep can cause further stress. Irregular sleep patterns and unhealthy sleeping habits can severely impact our physical and mental health, affecting our moods and behaviors.
The CDC has stated that the lack of adequate sleep in adult Americans is an increasing problem, with nearly one-third of adults reporting that they have trouble falling and staying asleep throughout the night. The correlation between high stress and poor sleep in America is not a coincidence.
Whether our stressors stem from family life, pressures at our jobs, or personal finances, if our minds are racing and consumed with negative emotions, the ability to fall and stay asleep can be difficult, frustrating, and often challenging to overcome. And after a night of tossing and turning when the sun rises, we are left tired, emotionally drained, cranky, and irritable—hardly in an ideal state to focus on our resources and how we can best overcome our sources of stress and anxiety.
PeakLife360 Tips to Overcome Stress and Build a Healthy Sleep Routine
1. Get at least 30 minutes of low impact exercise each day. Physical activity will improve the way your body manages stress and help improve your ability to sleep by raising your body temperature a few degrees.
2. Minimize or skip nighttime TV viewing or endless phone scrolling. The light from both devices can impair the natural secretion of the hormone melatonin and prevent you from wanting to fall asleep.
3. Set a nightly timer for at least one hour before your ideal bedtime. Use this time to unwind fully and develop bedtime rituals that prepare your body and mind for a healthy sleeping routine. Spend this time writing your thoughts, feelings, and emotions down in a journal or use a free mediation app to learn how to meditate. This quiet time will allow your mind and body to slow down and prepare you for a restful night.
4. Enhance your sleeping environment. Reevaluate your mattress, pillows, and sheets to ensure they are comfortable and clean. Consider buying blackout curtains if there is too much light that comes into your bedroom. And keep your bedroom at an optimal sleeping temperature, somewhere around 65 degrees.
5. Consider incorporating a natural, non-habit-forming sleep aid into your bedtime routine. Supplements and herbs like Valerian Root, Melatonin, and Lavender are all scientifically proven to help people fall asleep faster.
6. Know when it’s time to talk to your doctor. If your stress and sleep problems continue address your situation with your primary care doctor. Keep a sleep diary that you can share with your doctor so they can best advise you on what available treatment options might be worth exploring.
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