IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP AND HOW TO SLEEP BETTER

Posted by Chris Webb on

Importance of Sleep

Sleep is important for recovery.  Your body needs time to rest and repair itself in order to stay healthy and mentally alert. Most people need a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep.  Without sufficient sleep our immune system can have trouble repairing itself.  Sleep is important for recovery.  Most people need a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep.  Without sufficient sleep our immune system can have trouble repairing itself.

Sleep Disorders

Sleep helps reduce excess cortisol levels, increases protein synthesis, anabolic hormone levels and Growth Hormone (hGH) levels rise during deep sleep.  

Sleep Disorders impact 1 in 3 Adults.  This can lead to accidents and decreased health. The National Sleep Foundation polls show that over a six year period, only half of adults get a good night sleep on a regular basis.

 

Sleep Deprivation can lead to:

  • Increased risk of illness
  • Heart disease
  • Accidents
  • Impaired thinking (memory loss, slow reaction time)
  • Poor metabolic function (unhealthy weight gain/loss)
  • Mood related problems (stress, anger, irritability, depression)

 

What Can You DO?

 1) Kill the electronics

The light from our devices (cell phones, computers, TV) is “short-wavelength-enriched,” meaning it has a higher concentration of blue light than natural light—and blue light affects levels of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin more than any other wavelength.  There have been many recent research studies on blue light and the negative effect that it has on our sleep.  If you feel that you have to look at your device before bed, use blue light blocking glasses designed for this purpose.  Also cover your clock if you find yourself constantly looking at it throughout the night. 

 2) Create a relaxing environment

Decorate your bedroom with relaxing objects and colors, avoid bright energetic colors.  The best colors for sleep are icy blue, blue gray, and muted gray tones that are found in nature.  Avoid colors that are too dark.

 3) Sleep in a cool room

Temperature can be a big factor.  Research shows that the cooler the room, the quicker it is for us to fall asleep.  The ideal room temperature is 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Sleeping in a cool room lowers our core temperature and allows us to sleep more soundly.  It also helps with the release of human growth hormone.

 4) Sleep naked

Sleeping naked can stop our clothes from getting in the way of our sleep and restricting circulation.  It also helps regulate our body’s temperature which helps us get a better night sleep. The cooler you can stay, the less likely you are to wake up in the middle of the night. Sleeping naked is also good for genital health in men and women.  It reduces bacterial growth in that area like jock itch and yeast infections. It can also increase fertility rates in men.

Sleeping naked can also help us look younger by keeping you cool and releasing HGH levels. It can also help you lose weight by lowering cortisol levels. If you don’t want to sleep naked, wear thin fabrics that are breathable and moisture wicking. Silk, flannel and bamboo are ideal.  Avoid wool, fleece and cotton.

 5) Sleep in darkness

Dimming the light before bed increases melatonin levels the hormone that prepares our bodies for sleep. A dark room will help you stay asleep and block out blue light. Get light blocking drapes to block outdoor lights and block out light from the moon and sun which can impede your sleep. 

 6) Free your mind

Try not to think about work or touchy subjects that can get you worked up 2-3 hours before bed. Try to wind down and quite your mind by taking a relaxing bath, listening to soothing music or meditating.

 7) No alcohol

Alcohol can make you drowsy but once it wears off you are more likely to wake up more frequently throughout the night.

 8) Find a good pillow

You don’t want a pillow that is too thick.  Find one that supports your neck and keeps it in an aligned natural position. Avoid sleeping on your stomach, this twists your neck.  The best sleeping position is flat on your back. If you do sleep on your side, keep your neck in aligned with the rest of your body.

 9) Seal your mattress & don’t make your bed

Over time our mattresses and box springs fill with dust, dust mites and their dropping.  This can trigger allergies and make it difficult to breath and sleep.  Sealing your mattress and box springs with an air tight dust proof cover is ideal for blocking our mold, dust and mites. Also making your bed seals moisture in and creates an ideal environment for mold and dust mites to thrive.  Let your mattress and bedding air out.  Let the sunlight in to kill those mites too.

 10) Use your bed for sex and sleep

Develop a habit of using your bed only for this purpose.  We then develop a memory which will then help us fall asleep easier.  Avoid television, work, computers, eating, etc.

 11) Stick to a schedule

Routine is important.  Try to go to bed every night and wake up at the same time even on the weekends.  This will reprogram your brain to get a consistent good nights sleep. 

 12) Easy on the naps

Naps can be great but that can make it harder for you to get to sleep.  If you feel you have to nap keep it under 20 minutes and try to do it earlier in the day. Instead try drinking cold water or taking a walk. 

 13) Avoid caffeine

Caffeine can make it difficult to get a good night sleep.  Avoid coffee, tea, energy drinks and chocolate 4-6 hours before bed.

 14) Exercise

Regular exercise will help you sleep better but try to avoid working out 3-4 hours before bedtime.  Elevated heart rate, increased blood flow, increased oxygen levels and elevated core temperature will make it difficult to get to sleep.

 15) Eat less

Eating a big meal before bed can overload your digestive system and make it harder to get good nights sleep. If you have to eat something before bed, choose a light snack instead. 

 16) Less water

Hydrating your body throughout the day will help you stay healthier and help you sleep better but too much water before bed can lead to frequent trips to the bathroom.  If this is the case, you might want to scale back your water consumption before bed.

 17) Keep it quiet

Noise can wake you up and make it difficult for you to sleep. These include; dogs barking, traffic, leaky faucets. A sleep machine that creates white noise or a fan can help you stay asleep. Fix that leaky faucet or get some ear plugs.

 18) Natural sleep aids

Try to avoid OTC sleep aid which do nothing but make you drowsy and can damage your kidneys and liver. If you need extra help look for natural products that have little melatonin and contain things like; valerian, L-tryptophan, GABA, magnesium, lavender, L-theanine, passion flower, velvet bean. Natural products can help you get to sleep and not wake up feeling groggy. A lot of research has been done on dopamine and GABA for helping to ease restless mind syndrome and help you fall asleep.

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Written by Mark Webb, President and Chief Science Officer

All right reserved. Copyright 2018 High Energy Labs, Inc.