Why is sleep so important?
The human body is made up of trillions of cells. Every day some cells require replacing from everyday wear and tear. While sleeping the body focuses on rebuilding and repairing any damaged cells. Lack of sleep disadvantages the body, restricting the level of repair that can be achieved as energy is directed to other tasks such as brain and muscle function.
Good quality sleep has also been shown to improve brain function and its problem-solving ability, not to mention being essential for good mental health. In a study involving people suffering from depression results found 87% reported reduced depression symptoms, with improved sleep.
Good bedtime routine
The key to good sleep is a good bedtime routine (aka sleep hygiene), a bit like training a toddler. We can train our bodies to know when to sleep, using associated sights, smells and activities.
Check out our 10 top tips on how to improve your sleep hygiene:
Limit daytime naps to less than 30minutes
Consider adjusting your caffeine intake. Avoid caffeine for the last 4-6hours before bedtime. Even one cup of coffee in the morning can upset sleep for up to 48hours.
Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day
Make sure your bedroom is clutter free, comfortable and quiet. Make sure your duvet isn’t too hot or cold. Consider the age and support provided by your pillows and mattress. Learn more via these links:
Try to avoid any distracting negative noise such as TV’s or radios unless listening to relaxing music or meditation.
No LED screens 1hour before bed – No Phones, tablets, TVs, laptops etc
Screens can trigger the alerting system of the brain. This is thought to be because these screens give off a slight bluish light, which is associated with morning light, creating a biological trigger to wake up. Research has shown blue tone light tend to trigger alertness and red/yellow tone triggers calm.
If you must use your phone or tablet before bed, check to see if it has a night shift setting, which will shift the screen colour to red/yellow range. Turn the screen brightness down as low as possible.
Avoid negative or stressful tasks before bed
Listen or reading the news, looking at social media or attending to work emails just before bed is not recommended. It can create unnecessary stress at a time you can do little to resolve it.
Turn off your phone
Turn your phone off, silence or set your phone to ‘Do not disturb’ mode at night to avoid any potential noise disturbances while you are sleeping.
Mediation aims to slow the amount of incoming information into your brain. It’s important to get the most out of meditation so take yourself to a quiet place where there are no distracting sounds or stimuli.
Bedtime routine to relax
You can train your body to recognise when its bedtime by following a routine such as:
Shower -> Pyjamas on -> Brush teeth -> Read and go to sleep
Today’s question was ‘Why is sleep so important?’
Our West Wickham and Aldgate Chiropractor Karen explains the importance sleep plays in the bodies healing process. She also gives you 8 top tips on improving your sleep time or quality. Our Chiropractors look at the bigger picture when it come to injury to help you achieve the quickest most effective recovery.