This month celebrates World Sleep Day! Sleep plays a huge role in repairing and regenerating our bodies. So getting enough sleep is just as important to our bodies as a healthy diet and regular exercise. We tend to think of sleep as allowing our bodies to shut down but there are actually really important mental and physical processes that take place while we are sleeping. For example, our blood pressure regulates, our heart and blood vessels heal which lowers our risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure. Mentally, sleep helps our brain function properly when it comes to memory, learning, problem solving and decision-making and because it balances our hormones, it helps safeguard us against stress and depression.
So how much sleep do we need? Most adults need between six and nine hours every night. It is incredibly important that we make the effort to get quality sleep regularly to ensure optimum health.
Consider some of these simple tips to help you get a better nights rest.
1.) Avoid bright screens within 1-2 hours of your bedtime. The backlit blue light displays of screens suppress melatonin production, which is the hormone, that helps you sleep.
2.) Exercise regular.Exercise improves the symptoms of insomnia and sleep apnea and increases the amount of time you spend in the deep restorative stages of sleep.
3.) Avoid Caffeine, Nicotine and Alcohol before bed. The stimulating effects of these can have a major effect on your sleeping patterns.
4.) Practice Mindfulness. For a lot of us, lying in bed at night is where our mind begins to overrun bringing on worry and stress. There are some progressive relaxation techniques that you can do before bed that can help your mind from wondering and allow you to completely relax.
5.) Stick to a Sleep Schedule. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Being consistent reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle…