Though we often don’t think of it this way, sleep is a necessity, not a luxury. In other words, a person can’t get by for long without sleep, it’s as important to health and well being as eating and staying hydrated.
But all too often we ignore the need for sleep. We deprive ourselves of it, set ourselves up to fail at it, and ignore the benefits of doing it properly. We are all guilty of taking a good night’s sleep for granted, without recognizing the effects that a lack of quality sleep can have on our overall well-being.
The science of sleep is well researched and documented. And there are many factors that can lead to, or disrupt from, good, quality sleep. So, we thought we’d list some of the reasons why sleep is good for your health, and give some tips on how to get a proper night’s rest.
Health benefits of sleeping:
Central nervous system
Our nervous system is sometimes called the body’s “information super highway” and is responsible for how we react to things. While we rest, the brain and neural pathways get a much needed chance to rebuild.
Without proper sleep, a person’s central nervous system becomes overtaxed. This can result in lack of concentration and focus; disruptions to short- and long-term memory; it affects decision making and creativity; it can cause mood swings; and takes a toll on the overall functioning of a person’s cognitive ability.
We’ve all been there — we’ve pushed ourselves too far and now we’re paying for it because our body has come down with something. Whether it is a big deadline, traveling over the holidays, or biting off more than we can chew, sometimes we sacrifice sleep to try to get more done each day.
During rest, a body produces important infection-fighting antibodies and cells that are used to fight off disease and viruses. When we don’t give our bodies enough rest, its ability to fight off sickness suffers.
The system that has to do with a body’s heart and blood vessels is also affected by poor quality sleep because it is not given a chance to properly repair itself. Low quality sleep is correlated with many different types of cardiovascular issues, including hypertension, high blood pressure, weight gain and heart disease.
So, as you can see, it is incredibly important to sleep well at night. But many people might be left saying: I’m doomed because I’m a bad sleeper.
Many people suffer from insomnia and think that they are condemned to a lifetime of bad sleep and, in turn, health-related problems. But there are steps to help ensure the best possible rest.
Some tips to get a good night’s sleep:
No video screens
It is recommended that giving your brain at least an hour break from TV and computer screens before bedtime will help in falling and staying asleep. Blue light from screens tricks the brain into thinking that it is daytime, and it therefore disrupts its melatonin cycle, causing the brain to chemically stay awake when it should be powering down.
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Proper bed set up
The sleep environment is incredibly important in falling asleep and staying asleep. This means having the correct mattress for you (and your partner), and having it dark and quiet (although some people find benefit in white noise machines). In addition, having comfortable bedding that is right for the season will also help your body in achieving rest.
We’ve all had the experience that when we go to lay down for sleep, our minds start racing — thinking about all the things we need to do or should have done, all the mistakes and worries and troubles and on and on. Stress and lack of sleep are closely linked. Therefore, it’s important to find ways to destress before bed. Some techniques include, meditation, drinking chamomile tea, writing in a journal, talking things out with one’s partner, stretching, etc. Everyone is different, and so will be their destress methods.
In conclusion, sleep is not something to disregard. It is an essential part of overall health and the lack of quality sleep will have potentially long-lasting effects on a person’s well being. But there are plenty of things one can do to achieve proper sleep health.
As mentioned, sleeping on the mattress that is right for you is an easy yet vital step to good sleep and good health.
At our mattress store in Surrey, we care about your sleep. Come on by our showroom so we can help guide you to a better sleep.