The many benefits of sleep
Ah, sleep! Some of us love it and crave it, some of us don't like to miss out on fun events and activities by having to close our eyes and rest at night. You get the sleep lovers who ensure that every day they get the same set amount of rest every night, and if they don't, they cannot function at all. You also get the FOMO or “fear of missing out” people who just do not see the point of missing out on fun activities because you're sleeping your life away. What's the saying – “sleep when you're dead”? Then you get the people who are neither here nor there, and they aren't really phased or affected by the amount of rest that they get. They're the easy happy-go-lucky people who flow from one day to the next. The fact however remains, whichever category you fall into, sleep is actually essential for allowing our mind and body to recharge. Healthy sleep is also important to help the body stay fit and vital. Sleep deprivation can be an issue to our physical and mental health. In the U.S., approximately 50 million Americans have some type of sleep issue. Let's discuss what a good night's sleep can do for your health as well as the impact that poor sleep could have on your physical and mental wellbeing.
A good night's sleep
A good night's sleep might be something that is completely foreign to some people. People who are feeling stressed or overworked and have busy, active minds at night time may struggle to fall and stay asleep during the night. Not getting enough rest because of these reasons may create further worry or concern which then further exasperates not being able to fall asleep. It can be a vicious cycle. A good night's sleep can also be the answer to many concerns one may be experiencing. Think of a day when you were feeling tired... were you able to focus properly? Did you feel short-tempered, or lacking in patience? Were you able to enjoy your usual activities as normal? Chances are you answered “no” to most of these questions. It can be really hard to function properly every day without a good night's rest. Are you driving under the influence of lack of sleep?
Netflix and short sleep or long sleep and well rested day?
Oftentimes we are faced with the opportunity to catch up on a good series or a great book, and it can lead us to feel tempted to skimp on a few hours of sleep. Let us help to convince you as to why you should choose to skip the book or Netflix time, instead of getting less sleep. You won't want to sacrifice sleep when you know just how important it is for your overall health and mental well-being.
Your sleep needs
Adequate sleep typically includes 7-8 hours of sleep, on average, per night for an adult, 16 for babies, and at least 10 for younger children. Teenagers need around 9 hours of sleep per night on average - so no, your teenager isn't simply being lazy when they're sleeping in at 10am in the morning. * During these sleeping hours, our body goes through multiple sleep cycles, 4 to 5 cycles to be exact. Our body transitions between light sleep, deep sleep and REM or Rapid Eye Movement sleep. REM is the part of our sleep when we dream. *
Getting enough sleep
Sleep plays an important role in the healthy functioning of our bodily functions, as well as our overall mental state. I'm sure we are all aware of how hard it is to feel positive and happy when we are feeling tired and drained. We know that babies and young children need more sleep than older adults because they are growing, and children grow when they sleep, right? This is actually very true. * It's not as simple as getting enough sleep either. The quality of our sleep matters. If we experience poor sleep quality - the type of sleep where you don't really feel asleep, your mind is running and you're tossing and turning - then we may not wake up feeling rested, even if we got in our “8 hours” of sleep.
Quality of sleep
Low quality sleep affects our body in a similar way that lack of sleep does. Sleep quality also affects our brain's ability to focus on tasks. You're not imagining it when you feel unfocused or irrational when you have had insufficient sleep. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), “Loss of sleep may impair your higher levels of reasoning, problem-solving and attention to detail.” * Your immune function is also affected when you don't get enough sleep. While you would imagine that your brain and bodily functions shut down while you sleep, it's really that the ones you use during the day slow down while you sleep, enabling other functions of your brain and body to come into play. Just one night of sleep loss takes way longer for your body to catch up on than you would imagine.
What causes sleep deprivation
Sleep deprivation can occur due to many different reasons. Your sleep patterns could be out of whack. You could be feeling stressed or worried and have too much on your mind to “shut down” at bedtime. You may be taking medication that affects your ability to fall asleep as well as the quality of your sleep, you should always consult your health care professional should this be the case. The impact of sleep deprivation on your mental and physical health may cause a person to become concerned and worried about the lack of sleep they are experiencing. This can then create further concern and worry, which therefore makes falling asleep even tougher. It is important that you always contact a healthcare professional when experiencing sleep issues.
Ways to improve your quality of sleep
Ah, the good part. There are so many natural ways you can work to improve your quality of your sleep. Sometimes, just making sure you get schedule your sleep into your day can help!
Scheduling in sleep
We live crazy busy lives and we go from task to task as we rush through our day. Sometimes we may feel compelled to use our night time hours to catch up on work, or to slot in that task we didn't get time to complete during the day. The fact is though, chances are that you may accomplish that work or task at a higher level, in a faster time, if you get a good night's rest, and do the task the following day. Scheduling each day to include your required amount of sleep per day is really important. Sleep is one of your important tasks - just like the rest of your errands, and you need to make time for your night time sleep.
Downtime before bed
Winding down before bedtime is another really important aspect of helping you to get a good night's rest. It's a commonly known fact that television and computer screens and the light they display, may affect our ability to fall asleep, and to stay asleep. There's a reason why phones and computers now have a built in “night mode” where the screen emits a more yellow tone than the bright white light it does during the day. Winding down your evening by removing TV, cell phone, and computer screens about an hour before bedtime is a great way to help prepare your mind and body for a good night's sleep. You can run a warm bath or go read a book in bed during your winding down time. Sometimes a nice cup of tea such as chamomile can help ease you into relaxed sleep time.
Set sleep times
I'm sure you will have noticed how you may begin to feel sleepy at around the same time each night? Well, that's because your body likes routine. For example, your body knows that 9pm is your bedtime, and that's why you may begin to feel sleepy around this time. It's best to go get into bed and aim to fall asleep around the same time every night. If you try to push past this ideal sleep time, your body may become overtired, and you may then struggle to fall asleep or experience quality sleep. It's also advisable to take note of when your body naturally wakes up in the morning. Is it the same time each day? This could be the most ideal time for your body to wake up, and for you to feel refreshed. If you go back to sleep after this time and your alarm wakes you up, you may then wake up feeling tired - even though you will have gotten enough sleep during the night.
Here at SeraLabs, we know just how important good sleep is to your physical and mental health and as we aim to assist our customers to achieve optimal health, we have created a unique product called Sleep A.S.A.P
, with clinically backed ingredients. Sleep A.S.A.P. has ingredients such as melatonin which may help to regulate your body's natural sleep patterns. Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), an amino acid may help with overstimulation and promote a feeling of calm. Vitamin B6 may help to support the brain function as well as natural mood hormones. This drug-free alternative may help to ease common sleep disturbances experienced by adults by encouraging deep, restful sleep. Available in our Nutri-Strips, Sleep A.S.A.P. is recommended to take 30 minutes before bedtime, no hard pills to swallow, no water needed--just place a strip on your tongue wait a few seconds and swallow. *https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2013/04/benefits-slumber#:~:text=%E2%80%9CSleep%20affects%20almost%20every%20tissue,obesity%2C%20heart%20disease%20and%20infections.