Why is Sleep Important and Tips to Help You Sleep
Sleep is an essential part of our life but can elude us at times. Lack of sleep can affect our health, brain function, and more. So why is it so hard to sleep and why is it so important? Understanding the science behind sleep may not only help you sleep better, but it can help you understand why it should be a priority.
Every body has a built in sleep drive. A properly functioning sleep drive builds as the day progresses so that when the sun goes down your body signals that you need to sleep. Much like hunger, your body craves sleep and if you don’t get enough, the craving increases. Unlike hunger, when sleep is craved, your body can force you to sleep, even if only for brief seconds or minutes.
For sleep to fulfill its purpose, you must get enough sleep and you need to get the right kind of sleep. According to the Sleep Foundation, there are four stages of sleep, divided into two categories. The first three stages fall into the category of non-REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. The fourth stage is REM sleep.
While all the stages are important and critical to sleep, the third stage is the deepest part of sleep and plays an important role in recuperation for the body and the brain. Stage four is the only REM stage. The REM sleep stage is believed to be essential for the brain, enabling key functions like memory and learning.
In addition, according to John Hopkins Medical, a healthy amount of sleep is vital for “brain plasticity,” or the brain’s ability to adapt to input. Sleep is vital to the rest of the body too. When people don’t get enough sleep, their health risks rise. Symptoms of depression, seizures, high blood pressure and migraines worsen. Immunity is compromised, increasing the likelihood of illness and infection.
Now that you know a little more about sleep, lets look at tips for getting better sleep.
Tips to Help You Sleep
Many things can affect your sleep – stress, health issues, medication, lingering tasks, and more. Ideally, you could eliminate these issues, but in reality, you usually can’t. The Mayo Clinic has six suggestions to help you get better sleep.
- Stick to a sleep schedule. Our sleep drive is driven by two systems: sleep-wake homeostasis and the circadian rhythms. Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, including weekends, helps support these systems. It is best to plan for 8 hours of sleep, which is what most people need.
- Pay attention to what you eat and drink. Going to bed hungry or too full can affect your ability to fall asleep. Also, caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine can disrupt your sleep, some times later after you’ve fallen asleep.
- Create a restful environment. A dark, cool room helps promote sleep as does limiting exposure to light, like those from computer and phone screens. You may find that creating a calming routine before bed, like taking a bath, meditating, or yoga, can help you fall asleep easier.
- Limit daytime naps. A good power nap can help you get through the day, but taking a long nap or a nap late in the day could make it difficult to get to sleep later.
- Include physical activity in your daily routine. Regular physical activity can help your body feel tired and get to sleep. You may also find that getting outside during the day can help.
- Manage worries. Resolving things that are on your mind can help you relax and fall asleep. If you have things on your mind, try jotting them down, which allows your mind to relax and not worry that it will forget that item. Managing your stress is also a big part of getting to sleep. There are many ways to do that including journaling, meditation, and deep breathing.
Remember, these are tips and while they may work for one person, they may not for another. Try something and if it isn’t helping, look for a variation or another option.
Products to Help Support Sleep
Youngevity has a variety of products that may help you. Whether you’re looking for a product you can take or one to create a calming environment, we’ve got them. Here are a few you can try.
- Sleep Eze – this all natural formulation has a proprietary blend of herbs (passion flower, valerian, lemon balm chamomile, hops) and other natural ingredients to support healthy, restful sleep.
- Nature Direct EnviroAir™ Sleep Formula for Adults & Pure Air Revitalizer Bundle – use the Sleep Formula in the EnviroAir to create a calm environment as it cleans your air and diffuses soothing essential oils, including Cedar, Ravensara, and Rosemary.
- Good Night 2.5%™ 10 ml Roller Bottle – this essential oil blend helps promote a relaxing and rejuvenating sleep cycle. The Roller Bottle is pre-mixed with Good Night Essential Oil and Kukui Carrier Oil for easy application to the bottom of your feet.
Getting enough sleep is critical to a healthy mind and body. Whether you adopt some of the tips or add one of these Youngevity products to your bedtime routine, making your sleep a priority pays major dividends.