Sleep- Your Superpower!
Why is is so important?
When I was deciding which component of my top three health hacks I was going to put on my website, I was brainstorming with my friend about whether exercise or sleep was more important. Wow! What a question! They are both super important, but like my friend said, “You can’t exercise if you are sleep deprived”. And there it was, my answer right in front of me. So, today I would love to share with you how I feel about Sleep and why it is so crucial for our health in so many ways. I myself have never had trouble sleeping (hallelujah) until I fell into the dreaded M word…Menopause! I went from sleeping like a baby to hot flashes every 4 hours that would wake me up with anxiety and sweat! Fortunately they came as fast as they went and I did a little Tapping and praying to fall back to sleep. If you don’t know what Tapping is, check out the Tapping solution App. It’s just one of the tools I use and share with others along with Dr. Weil’s 4-7-8 breath. So just what does Sleep do for us and why is it so important that we get at least 7-9 hours every day.
Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. It protects your mental health, physical health and your quality of life. While we are sleeping our body forms new pathways for the next day to help you learn and remember.
Sleep also helps the body release a hormone that boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells and tissues in children, teens and adults. It also helps keep a healthy weight as well.
Sleep helps to protect our cardiovascular health. This statistic is overwhelming, but the University of Warwick did a study and they found that getting less than 6 hours of sleep on a continuous basis makes you 48% more likely to die of heart disease and 15% more likely in developing a stroke. Professor Cappuccio, co-author of the study, said “the trend for late nights and early mornings is like a ticking time bomb for your health”.
Sleep also protects our immune system. It help us create NK cells or “natural killer cells” which can eliminate dangerous cells like cancer. Also noted is that those who slept less than 7 hours were almost 3 times more likely to develop a cold than those who slept 8 or more hours.
Sleep can also help lower inflammation in the body. Poor sleep has been strongly linked to long-term inflammation of the digestive tract, in disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease.
And if health doesn’t get you, maybe vanity will! So many of us want to look younger and age well. Beauty sleep is a real thing! When we get our sleep, it provides us with anti aging benefits that you won’t see with less than 6 hours of sleep. I know for me I feel like my face sags, my eyes look small and I just don’t feel vibrant , but when I get 8 hours of sleep, I feel like a rock star!
So what are some healthy sleep strategies that we can use to assure that we get a good nights sleep:
Make sure the room is dark with a temperature between 65 and 67 degrees
Reduce blue light exposure by wearing glasses that block blue light
No caffeine late in the day – it can stay in the blood for 6-8 hours
Increase bright light exposure during the day
Go to bed and wake at the same time every day
Reduce or don’t drink alcohol in the late evening
Use a white noise machine or air filter
Avoid late night snacking
Clear your mind taking a bath or shower
Exercise regularly during the day but not before bed
Read a book before bed instead of watching television
I hope you will try a few of these strategies so that you can sleep like a baby!