In a healthy body resides a healthy spirit. This saying is very well known, and most people think of a healthy body in terms of food, drink, and exercise. Though these factors greatly contribute to the body being in an optimal condition, a good night’s sleep is one of the most crucial components of a good lifestyle. According to statistics, over 70 million Americans alone are suffering from insomnia or some kind of sleep deprivation condition. Many people identify these symptoms with a bad mood and a lack of focus, but studies have shown that a chronic lack of sleep has a considerably more negative impact on the body, putting us at risk for heart disease, obesity, and even mental health disorders like depression and anxiety. Therefore, take a minute or two to read about the many benefits of great sleep and how to achieve it.
Time is important
Many people complain of their inability to sleep early, though going to bed before midnight has proven to be more effective and productive than any time after midnight. During the early hours of the night, after sunset, we start producing sleep hormones in a larger quantity, that is the reason why we feel a bit sleepy after 6 or 8 as opposed to during the day.
Nowadays, however, our exposure to the bright light of touch screens and intake of caffeine completely changes this natural process making it harder to fall asleep. Every hour we spend awake after that initial yawn is taking away quality sleep. After a while, the body starts producing hormones to keep us awake making it harder to fall asleep later.
Therefore, do not expose yourself to any screen light 2 hours before going to bed, do not drink any coffee or alcohol after 6 pm. Alcohol, contrary to popular belief, actually makes it harder for our body as the liver and other organs are busy processing it, and the same goes for food as well. Go to sleep at the same time, and try to wake up at the same time every day, while following the previously mentioned advice before. This, according to experts, functions as a reset button and you’ll feel fresh and full of energy the next day.
Make sure you are comfortable
For proper and good sleep, most doctors suggest taking an adequate sleeping position. For example, certain sleeping positions are more suitable for certain health conditions. It is very well known how sleeping on the side can reduce snoring. Also, sleeping on the side with a pillow between your legs can affect your posture and reduce back pain. Make sure to use pillows with memory foam for your neck and shoulders so you won’t feel stiff in the morning. This is one of the many examples of how sleeping affects the body.
Pillows can help, but if your bed is overall uncomfortable, whatever position you take will not make a difference. Thankfully, nowadays we have adjustable beds for greater comfort. You might ask yourself how an adjustable bed can help you, though the answer is easy. With the possibility of taking up any position suiting your needs, adjustable beds are a life changer.
They are electronic beds you control with a remote often coming with double mattresses or memory foam mattresses, depending on your wishes. If you have varicose veins, your legs should be at a certain angle reducing the pain and inflammation. If you have been sleeping for quite a while on your back due to an operation or accident, you might consider getting in an upright position, that way you’ll escape wounds on the back. The physical health benefits are many, not to mention the mental benefit of good night sleep. On what you sleep can drastically affect how you sleep.
The many other benefits
We’ve mentioned some of the above benefits, and how to improve a good night’s sleep. Now, it would be worth mentioning how sleep affects us on a molecular level. During the night, our body is in a state of meditation, resetting, restoration, and repairing. Our cells are getting rid of accumulated toxins, our liver and kidneys are processing excess liquid and poisons. This is one of the reasons many feel the urge to go to the bathroom first thing in the morning. On a molecular level, the power of sleep resembles that of an induced coma where our body is optimizing for tomorrow. Productive sleep has been linked to better concentration, life longevity, and even a reduced chance of getting cancer.
Furthermore, many professionals suggest how people have found it easier to fight depression and mild forms of psychosis. Mental health experts advised sleep for a higher energy level and are ready to prescribe drugs to those finding it hard to get sleep. Of course, trauma victims or people suffering from PTSD have talked about the lack of concentration and ability to remember things as a side effect of deprivation.
Not to mention how it is crucial while trying to recover from injuries, whether from an accident or sports.
The overall welfare of yourself greatly depends on slight changes in your adopted lifestyle. If you are not suffering from diagnosed issues preventing you from sleeping correctly, we highly encourage changing those habits and embracing better ones.