Everyone knows that a good night’s sleep feels great, but have you ever stopped to ask why?
We humans spend about a third of our lives asleep, so it’s no wonder that this nightly activity is crucial for our overall health and happiness. While a daily wellness routine may feel overwhelming or like it doesn’t fit into your schedule, getting some rest is one self-care trick that you can literally do…in your sleep.
In honor of National Sleep Awareness Month and World Sleep Day (March 19th), we’re celebrating the benefits of rest and sharing some of our tips for how to improve your sleeping habits!
How Does Sleep Impact Your Health?
According to Harvard Medical School, “our bodies regulate sleep in much the same way that they regulate eating, drinking, and breathing. This suggests that sleep serves a similar critical role in our health and well-being.”
When we sleep, our bodies conserve about 35% of the energy we expend when we’re awake. This helps the body focus on regenerative functions such as repairing muscle tissue, replacing dead cells with new ones, synthesizing proteins, releasing growth hormones, and more. Sleep is absolutely essential, especially for anyone going through a growth spurt, healing from a wound, or looking to boost natural muscle recovery after a tough workout.
Sleep is also important for brain function and learning. Our brains are highly active when we’re resting. The central nervous system reorganizes itself to integrate new memories and clear out information that isn’t useful. This is called brain plasticity, which is crucial for memory, creativity, problem-solving skills, and focus. This is one reason why sleep is so important for young people whose brains are still developing.
Studies show that chronic lack of sleep can lead to a lowered immune system, increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. On a cosmetic level, lack of sleep can also cause your skin to age more quickly and become more sensitive. Even just missing a few hours of sleep one night can have a drastic effect on your mood, energy levels, and ability to focus the next day.
Not sleeping enough can result in some pretty scary consequences, which is why we always include sleep as an important part of our holistic self-care routine! Having good sleeping habits can also help you live longer.
While different people require different amounts of sleep, it’s clear that getting enough of it is absolutely crucial for our health. Ensuring that adequate sleep is a regular part of your wellness routine will mean less stress, a clearer head, more energy, better digestion, quicker muscle and wound recovery, less inflammation, stronger immunity, and better chances for long term health!
Our Top 5 Tips For Improving Your Health By Improving Your Sleep
Start a nighttime wellness routine.
A nighttime wellness routine lets your body know it’s time to wind down and get ready for bed. This looks different for everyone, but doing the same thing before bed each night makes a difference when it comes to actually falling asleep and staying there.
Limit screen time before bedtime.
Studies suggest that the blue light emitted by our phone, computer, and tablet screens can disrupt circadian rhythms that dictate the sleep cycle. Ideally, you and your family make a habit of turning off the TV and putting down all electronic devices two hours before bedtime. Books, audiobooks, games, and other analog activities like meditation or light stretching are perfect for helping you wind down and rest your eyes before bed.
If it’s impossible to avoid computer screens, try an app like Flux that reduces blue-light after sundown. Or, ask your optometrist for blue light blocking glasses!
Use beneficial herbs to promote sleep.
CBD is an amazing plant-based ingredient that can help with sleep. Our sleep STIK was recently named in the Men’s Health 2021 CBD Awards because it blends the power of CBD Wellness with all-natural chamomile and melatonin to create a fast-acting and easy to use sleep aid that will send you straight off into dreamland.
Eat dinner earlier, and be mindful of nighttime snacking.
Eating a lot before bed can cause heartburn, acid reflux, and uncomfortable indigestion that keeps you tossing and turning for hours. You can counteract this by eating earlier in the evening, so your stomach has plenty of time to digest. Snacking at night isn’t always bad, but anti-inflammatory foods like fruit or a spoonful of peanut butter are better than sugary or salty snacks.
Avoid caffeine after noon.
Our sleep cycles are heavily affected by chemicals. One chemical produced in the brain, called adenosine, builds up throughout the day and causes us to feel tired as it accumulates. That adenosine gets cleared out when we sleep, so we wake up feeling alert. Caffeine blocks the production of adenosine in our central nervous system, so it’s best to stick to your morning coffee while opting for non-caffeinated beverages in the afternoon.
These are just a few of the countless tips for better sleep out there. For us, the most important thing is to listen to your body and support its natural functions. Sleep is one of the simplest self-care tools we have at our disposal, so just sit back, relax, and let your body do what it does best!