Why Sleep Matters
As busy, active people, we’re often exposed to a great deal of cultural noise suggesting that sleep is literally a waste of time. One fitness chain even went so far as to run national billboards with the headline “You Can Sleep When You’re Dead.” Well if you don’t get the rest you need, that final “sleep” will come sooner rather than later because sleep is an essential bodily function that allows renewal, repair and recovery.
So let’s look at the realities of sleep. On average, healthy adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep every night to maintain physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Sleep is in fact no less important than exercising or following a balanced diet. Unfortunately, an estimated 50-70 million Americans of all ages and socioeconomic classes have sleep-related problems. Seventy-percent of adults have reported they experience insufficient sleep at least one night every month. Eleven-percent of adults reported experiencing insufficient sleep every night.
Here are some facts to help you understand why you need to sleep and tips to help you get the sleep you need.
BENEFITS OF SLEEP
Sleep plays an essential housekeeping role in the body - removing toxins from our brain and body to help:
1. Improve Concentration, Productivity, Memory, & Performance
2. Enhance the Immune System
3. Decrease Symptoms of Depression
4. Regulate the Metabolism
CONSEQUENCES OF SLEEP DEPRIVATION
Consistent lack of sleep, or reduced quality of sleep, leads to a medically recognized condition called sleep deprivation. When we are in a state of sleep deprivation, typically getting less than 7 hours of sleep, our brain and body cannot renew, repair and recover at a systematic or cellular level. As a result, we lose the benefits of sleep discussed above and may experience:
1. Cognitive Impairment
2. Increased Risk of Disease
3. Negative Effects on Mood
4. Weight Gain
TIPS FOR A BETTER NIGHT’S REST
While persistent sleep issues may be related to a sleep disorder and should be discussed with your doctor, there are occasional days or weeks where we may experience minor sleep disturbances that leave us feeling restless at bedtime or exhausted waking up. To reset our sleep clock and optimize our sleep, a bedtime routine is essential. Here are a few ideas for creating a better bedtime ritual:
1. Create a schedule and stick to it.
By setting a specific time to start getting ready for bed, we give our minds time to detox from daily stressors. Pick a time to begin your sleep routine every night and follow it religiously.
2. Wind down before bed.
Prepare for sleep by winding down with rituals that make sense for you like a nightly skincare regimen or meditation (see Zen Mediation blog, if needed).
3. Recap the day and speak affirmations
We often cannot sleep because we have too much on our mind. To help process emotions, try recapping the day, making sure to address any moments of anger, hurt or sadness. Writing these feelings down in a journal is a great way to get them off your emotional plate. This type of emotional management, followed by affirmations, will help release tension and decrease anxiety.
4. Put away electronics.
Keep phones, laptops, tablets, etc. out of the bedroom. Scrolling through social media feeds or watching videos provides too much unhealthy stimulation. Listening to soothing music or a mediation program will help calm the mind and prepare you to sleep.
5. Add Melatonin and embrace Aromatherapy
If you are not a fan of pills, a natural alternative for melatonin tablets is our SLEEPY BEAUTY Oral Slumber Spray. This dietary supplement is infused with Melatonin and six other natural potent ingredients to help mellow the day away to set the tone for a great night’s sleep.
If melatonin does not make sense for you, try aromatherapy with our SLEEPY BEAUTY Tranquility Pillow Spray. This aromatherapy blend is infused with Sage, Rose and Petitgrain. To use, mist onto linens or into the air near your bed to help create gentle a sense of harmony that will support a good night’s sleep.