Are your sleeping patterns compromising your health goals?
Sleep: The Most Underrated Health Concern
“Sleep is overrated.” “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” How many times have you heard these phrases? Nowadays, it’s pretty common to for individuals to get by on 4 to 5 hours of sleep. Unfortunately, as more and more Americans are getting less and less sleep, their health is suffering. Not only do you need sleep to be mentally alert throughout the day, but you need sufficient sleep to restore vital systems of the body. The immune, nervous, skeletal, and muscular systems all require an extended period of rest in order to function properly. But how much sleep do you really need?
What exactly is enough sleep?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average adult needs 7-9hours of sleep for optimal health.  According to the Everyday Health article “Sleep Deprivation Effects: 8 Scary Side Effects of Too Little Shut-Eye” too little sleep, has been linked to more than 700 genetic changes that could have major consequences on your health. Poor sleep has been linked to an increase in stroke risk, obesity, diabetes risk, osteoporosis problems, memory loss, and the production of chemicals and hormones that lead to heart disease. So how can you make sure you’re getting the sleep you need? Let your circadian clock to the work.
Inside every human body is a circadian clock. This clock is what tells your body when it’s time to go to sleep and is powered by the rising and the setting of the sun (also known as circadian rhythm). When the sun sets, your body begins to release melatonin (a hormone that helps regulate sleep). Likewise, when the sun rises, cortisol (a hormone that helps) is released. Although these two hormones that help create regular sleeping patters are naturally released by your body, often they are suppressed. By suppressing your circadian clock with caffeine, electronic stimulation, or stress, regular sleeping patters have become almost impossible.
How can you improve your sleep?
The National Sleep Foundation has a few suggestions to getting good sleep:
- Establish 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
- Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows
Additionally, not getting good, restful sleep makes it difficult for your body to metabolize carbohydrates and regulate important hormones like Melatonin and Cortisol, a stress hormone that directly affects your appetite. Good sleep is accomplished when your body cycles through all the 5 stages of sleep about 4 to 5 times a night, no tossing and turning and waking up in the middle of the night, just sleeping. Biometics’ BioNite includes a proprietary blend of herbs, including metatonin, to support restful sleep. This can be a good option to help get your circadian rhythm back on track.
Remember, getting more sleep is vital to living longer, younger!