Save Yourself – Sleep 8 hours Per Night!July 1, 2020
The Magic Of Sleep
As I’m sure you know, getting adequate sleep is very important for optimal body and brain functions, as well as your mood!
At Bay Wellness Centre, we to treat insomnia, difficulty sleeping, and sleep interruptions. Our goal is to treat the root cause of the sleep difficulty, so that you can get a full night’s rest and wake refreshed in the morning. Read on to find out more about sleep, what affects your ability to fall asleep and what we can do about it.
How Much Sleep Do You Need?
Although many people claim they can survive and feel great off four or five hours of sleep, studies have shown that humans require at least 6 hours of sleep per night. Sleep is a restorative period for us, where our body relaxes, and recovers from the stresses of the day.
Interestingly, a new lymphatic system, called the glymphatic system, has recently been studied in the brain. This lymphatic system in our heads works to promote elimination of soluble proteins and metabolites from the nervous system. This process happens while we’re asleep.
So if sleep is so important, what do we do if we just CAN’T sleep?
Why Can’t I Sleep?
Let’s look at the possible reasons why you might not be able to fall asleep easily:
- You consume stimulants too late in the day. This could be coffee, tea, energy drinks, even supplements with B vitamins or stimulating herbs in them. Stimulants consumed past 2pm can affect your ability to fall asleep.
- You worked out too late in the day. Exercise is a great way to increase your energy and feel-good endorphins, but if you work-out too late in the day, it can affect your ability to fall asleep.
- You ate too close to bedtime. You may find that if you eat a heavy or large meal too close to bedtime, you can’t fall asleep.
- You lay in bed and continue to use screens. Screens (TV, phone, iPad, tablets, computers) all emit a blue light from their screens and this light tricks your brain into thinking that it is daylight, and suppress the production and release of melatonin. Melatonin is your sleep hormone, it increases at night in the dark, but it is stopped if there is blue light or daylight.
- It’s too light and/or loud in your room. You may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep if your bedroom is too light, and too loud. Humans sleep best in pitch black, quiet spaces.
Develop a Sleep Routine
Follow these simple steps to improve your ability to fall asleep:
- Develop a bedtime routine. Treat yourself like a toddler and create and stick to a calming routine to get yourself ready for bed.
- Do something calming during the last 30 minutes before getting into bed. Have a warm bath, drink some herbal tea, write in a journal, read a physical book, meditate, stretch, do night time yoga, sit and talk to your partner or roommate.
- Use your bed for sex and sleep only. Don’t work in bed, or watch TV, or check emails.
- Go to bed at the same time every night, get up at the same time every day.
- If you don’t fall asleep in 20 minutes, get up. Once you’re up, do something calming and boring until you feel sleepy again, then go back to bed.
These are a great starting point to address your sleep concerns. You may not find complete resolution to your sleep troubles even when you develop a great sleep routine, this can indicate a hormonal cause. Find out more on sleep and hormones here.