Sleep health is a real thing. Many of us know we need to be getting a good night’s sleep but few us of actually do. We often sacrifice it to get other things done. Getting adequate sleep is important because our bodies repair itself at the cellular level when we sleep. To repair, it performs protein synthesis which produces growth hormones that keeps our muscles strong and healthy.
During sleep, our brains sort all the information we take in during the day. It creates memories out of the information deemed important and throws out the rest. The brain also reorganizes memories and that aids us in creativity. The brain’s waste system is active during sleep and flushes out anything that could impair cognitive function. As you can see, sleep cannot be overlooked as it is necessary for the mind and body to fully recover from daily stress.
Do you have a sleep deficit? It’s important to know because lack of sleep has been linked to cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and accidents. Getting six hours of sleep or less a night causes a myriad of health issues including the ones mentioned above. If you are not sleeping long enough, your brain’s ability to tolerate stress decreases so the body produces more Cortisol, which is the stress hormone. Cortisol takes glucose and provides the body with energy. The problem occurs when we are stressed, the body does not stop making cortisol so our blood sugar levels rise and causes both weight gain as well as Type II diabetes. Continuing in the downward spiral, obesity and high blood sugar from Type II diabetes makes it harder for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body. This damages arteries and eventually clogs them which results in cardiovascular disease, heart attack, or stroke. Other issues that result from too little sleep includes premature skin aging, depression, bad moods, decreased immunity, and a decrease in libido.
What is the magic number for maintaining great health? Experts say that you should be getting between 7-8 hours of sleep a night. If you are not getting that much, there are things you can do to help yourself fall asleep and stay asleep for longer. One major tip is to create a relaxing environment. That means you need to remove electronics such as televisions, tablets, or smartphones from your bedroom. The blue light emitted from these devices stimulates brain activity, making it hard to fall asleep. Another great way to regulate your sleep cycle is to go to bed at the same time every day. Also, avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed. Caffeine causes hyperactivity and alcohol disrupts the stages of sleep. Last but not least, exercise regularly. Exercise releases endorphins that help you get restful sleep. The combination of these efforts should help you get to sleep easier and feel more refreshed when you wake up!
If pain is keeping you from getting shuteye, you may want to consider chiropractic care. Patients who get adjusted report sleep improvement as well as alleviated discomfort. Chiropractors focus on your spine, correcting any misalignments that are present and that boosts the spine’s overall health. What that means for sleep is that pain and tension that builds up in the spine is released. The more comfortable the body, the easier it is to relax and fall asleep. Chiropractic care also enhances the body’s central nervous system. The nervous system is a key player in promoting efficient function of the body. The more efficient your body, the less wasted energy. And that equates to a better night’s sleep. No one benefits more from sleep improvement than you. Make sleep a priority and reap the amazing health benefits that can help you live better and longer!