How to Improve Your Quality of Sleep
Sleep is essential to your health
Getting a good night’s sleep is becoming harder to achieve for many adults. Not only are adults not getting enough sleep, but they’re also not getting enough quality sleep. Many find themselves tossing and turning or waking up several times in the middle of the night – affecting not only their energy levels the next day, but their overall health.
Sleeping problems affect millions and often affect brain function, a healthy metabolism, and most importantly, immune function. And your immune system is the only safeguard against foreign invaders in the body; including free radicals. Matt Walker, a renowned brain scientist, reported in his TED Talk, Sleep is Your Superpower, that there is a 70 percent drop in immune cell activity when individuals are subjected to four hours of sleep in a night. This significant drop in immune function can be associated with an increase in many diseases and even fatal illnesses.
Things that may be affecting your quality of Sleep:
Suppressed Melatonin Levels – Melatonin is a hormone produced naturally in your body that controls your sleep cycles. It begins to naturally release in your body in the evening as the sun begins to set. This process is mostly regulated by your body’s circadian rhythm and exposure to light. The problem that many are facing currently is over exposure to artificial lighting. Artificial lighting suppresses melatonin levels which then makes it difficult for your body to know it’s time to go to sleep. The biggest artificial light culprit is blue light. Blue light is something everyone is exposed to daily. However, where overexposure becomes a problem is with artificial blue light from electronic devices. By keeping lights on, especially from TV and mobile screens, we are suppressing melatonin from doing its job.
Your Endocannabinoid System – The endocannabinoid system is a physiological system found in your body that is made up of a network of receptors that help regulate a variety of functions including sleep, hunger, mood, and immune function. These receptors help to maintain a sense of homeostasis in the body. When your endocannabinoid system is not functioning properly, it can effect the quality of your sleep.
3 Things you can do to improve Your Quality of Sleep:
- Routine & Regularity – Start by establishing consistent sleep and wake schedules, even on weekends. Create a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bath or listening to soothing music – begin an hour or more before the time you expect to fall asleep. Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool.
- Avoid Alcohol & Caffeine – The over consumption of alcohol and caffeine has often been tied to poor sleeping patterns. Caffeine molecules have the ability to block adenosine, a neurotransmitter that supports the sleep-wake cycle, and interfere with brain receptors that regulate sleep. It’s recommended that you avoid caffeine 6 hrs before you plan to go to sleep. Likewise, alcohol consumption has been found to interrupt your circadian rhythm and even block REM sleep.
- Provide your Endocannabinoid System with cannabinoids – Cannabinoids from hemp plants have been found to promote the positive interactions within the endocannabinoid system needed to support the natural pathways of the body – including the regulation of sleep. Receptors found on the endocannabinoid system are able to bind with cannabinoids to support areas in the body that affect your sleep.
Make Sleep a Priority
You may think that eventually you will catch up on sleep. However, it’s easy to fall into a bad sleep cycle. Make sure you’re taking steps now to ensure good quality sleep! Consider a natural sleep support supplement Remember, prevention is the key to optimal health!