Sleep is so essential as a biological function that the National Sleep Foundation in the US recommends 7-9 hours of it for adults – that’s a third of the day! However, a study conducted by the Sleep Foundation in Australia revealed 60% of respondents had at least one sleep symptom. An astounding 50% reported chronic symptoms lasting three months or more, which included trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, waking up too soon or inability getting back to sleep.
With severe sleep symptoms, seeking medical help is strongly advised. For those with milder symptoms, there are a few practical ways you can guarantee a better night’s rest. Going to bed at the same time every day and aiming to wake up at the same time helps set your body clock. Avoiding screens and stimulants within 1-2 hours of bedtime helps calm the body. Ensuring the room is dark when you head off to bed further encourages resetting circadian rhythm. Spending more time outdoors for fresh air and perhaps, some exercise, as both are known to boost immunity and relieve stress to better prep the body for quality sleep.
Finally, what you sleep on is imperative to a good night’s rest. A poor quality mattress will do you more harm than good, providing insufficient body support and exposing you to harmful chemicals through the off-gas. Rubber latex is all-natural, made from the sap of trees that are harvested through hand tapping. The sap is compounded, mixed with small amounts of zinc oxide and sulphur to solidify it, then moulded, cured, washed and dried. Given that it’s natural, it’s great for your health and for the environment. It’s also non-toxic so there’s no off-gassing, it’s comfortable and durable, so it’ll last longer.
Why should you make the effort to improve your sleep, even if you only have occasional symptoms? Here are 5 ways regular, quality sleep patterns can improve your mood, health, metabolism – and life in general.
Sleep Makes You Happy
When you’re asleep, your brain has time to process your emotions so that you can react and recognise those better the next day. If you don’t have a decent sleep, you are more likely to experience negative emotional reactions. If you don’t get enough sleep, your chances of mood disorders such as depression and anxiety increase dramatically. By getting better sleep, you can improve your general outlook on life, allowing you to deal more effectively with life’s challenges.
When you have had a good night’s rest, your concentration will improve, and you’ll have a higher cognitive function. Lack of sleep impacts the prefrontal cortex, the part of your brain that’s responsible for innovation and creativity. By getting enough sleep, you can recover faster from distractions, prevent burnout, make better decisions and fewer mistakes.
Gives You Energy
Sleep gives your body and mind time to energise. If you are sporty and love running, swimming and bike riding, getting a good night’s sleep is essential. Not only does it give your body time to rest and recover, it allows your muscles the chance to repair, and it gives your motivation a boost as well. If you’re well rested, you’ll find that you have better hand-eye coordination, muscle recovery and reaction time – which in turn leads to more strength and power.
Good For Overall Health
Ongoing sleep deficiency has been linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease. When you sleep, your blood pressure decreases, which allows your heart and blood vessels time to rest. The less you sleep, the longer your blood pressure is higher while awake – which can, in turn, increase your chance of heart disease and stroke. Lack of sleep can also impair your immune function and is linked to increased inflammation and cell damage, including Crohn’s disease.
Boosts Your Metabolism
Sleep deprivation can cause your metabolic system to fall out of balance, and as such, it impacts your appetite in general. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces ghrelin. This is a hormone that boosts your appetite. That’s why when you’re tired, you’re more likely to snack. It also decreases leptin production, another hormone that tells you when you’re full. So, now you’re also more likely to binge. Low metabolism + binging = a simple recipe for disaster.
Not getting enough sleep can impact how you think, work, learn, grow, react and how well you get along with others. Try our tips and you’ll be feeling more energized, happier and healthier in no time