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Sleep, It Is Important!

By Dr. Mehreen Hussain, ND

Are you getting enough sleep? For most of us the answer will be “no” and for some of us the answer maybe “yes,” but the reality is the body still needs more sleep.

Sleep is important. During your sleep your body repairs and regenerates itself. You detoxify your body and you solidify your memories of the day.

It is also an important time for regulating your hormones and your immune system. Why does rest help you get over a cold better? Sleep helps the immune system, that’s why!

Your metabolism is also working overnight, keeping your body sugar in balance.

Decreased sleep has shown to lead to poor cognition and memory issues, poor immune system function, fatigue, difficulty losing weight, mood changes and car accidents.

So everyone, it is time to get more sleep!

On average the different age groups should be getting the required amount of sleep every night as illustrated in the table below.

how much sleep do you really need

To help with your sleep routine, go to bed at 10pm. Why 10pm you ask?

Well, it’s because melatonin, your sleep hormone, gets released at 11pm and then at 3am in the morning, melatonin helps to regulate your sleep cycle and keep you in deep sleep. If you go to bed at 11/12 or 1 am, you miss that first peak of melatonin and the next time you release melatonin will be at 3am. For most of us, waking at 7 or 8 am to get to work, well you do the math between 3am and the time you wake up…is that 8 to 9 hours of deep restorative sleep?

Probably not…

Well, would you like to get more sleep? Yes! Then off to bed at 10pm!

Here are some ways to help you in your sleep routine.

First, it is important to be in bed by 10 pm.

Before bed, try a relaxing warm bath; maybe add some Epsom bath or essential oils into the bath like lavender, orange, chamomile, jasmine, sandalwood, bergamot, ylang-ylang, cedarwood, and sweet marjoram, among others.

Next use some body oil and pamper yourself to a body and face massage. It will help relax you, keep your skin looking healthy, and help relax your muscles from a tired day of sitting at the office. Body and face oils to use are: olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, and jojoba oil.

If you have a diffuser, you can add some essential oil in there as well, or spray some on your pillow and bed sheets.

Now to the important part, keep the room completely dark, melatonin needs absolute darkness in order to be released naturally from the body.  The room should also be at a comfortable temperature.

Next, no electronics before bed or in bed, keep your phone on airplane mode, with blue light protection in place, and away from head level. Electronics release electromagnetic waves that interfere with brain waves. Young folks protect your brain waves today so that in 10-20 years from now, you don’t develop sleep problems.

And lastly, try to keep a sleep schedule for the weekdays and one for the weekends, go to bed at the same time every day and wake up at the same time every day. This will help your sleep hormones stay in a constant cycle throughout the week, the month, and the years to come. It will promote deeper and more restorative sleep. And you will wake up fresher and more energized in the morning, ready to tackle the day and make your mark!!!

So what are you waiting for, off to bed and Sweet Dreams…zzzzz

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