Why We Need Sleep

WHY WE NEED SLEEP

Sleep is one of the most important pieces to the puzzle we call health.  Unfortunately, it is the one thing that we will intentionally deprive ourselves of on a regular basis.  Without sleep, we rob our brain’s ability to form lasting memories, prevent overall body healing, and double the risk of cancer.  The best way for us to prevent any of those from happening is to GET ENOUGH SLEEP.

WHAT IS CONSIDERED ENOUGH SLEEP?

Based on the most recent research, it is recommended that everyone get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night.  This time frame is recommended because it takes this amount of time for our bodies to undergo the 5 phases of sleep.  The most important phase of this cycle happens to be the last phase, and when we skimp out on sleep, we rob our bodies of it and the restoration that occurs during this phase does not occur.

WHAT CAN I DO TO MAKE SURE I GET THE BEST SLEEP?

There are many different tips and tricks you can do every day that will help you get the most out of your sleep.  Below is a small list of things you can do to help you get the best sleep.

  • Create a routine

    • Studies have shown that maintaining a regular sleep/wake schedule (even on the weekend!) will improve both the ability to fall asleep, and to maintain quality sleep.  This is the best first step for people who have bad sleep quality and poor sleep habits.

  • Turn off screen devices 1 to 2 hours before bed

    • Turing off electronic devices and not using them in bed reduces the exposure of blue light. Since blue light tells the brain it is not time for sleep, limiting exposure signals to your brain that when in bed, it is time to sleep.

  • Don’t drink caffeine at least 6 hours before bed

    • Caffeine has been shown to stay in the system for up to 6 hours and chemically reduces the effectiveness and quality of sleep.

  • Maintain a healthy diet throughout the day

    • Poor diets only provide poor fuel which cause our brains and bodies to function inadequately.

      • Make sure you are taking omega 3’s and magnesium.  Your brain runs best on healthy fats and magnesium helps relax muscles and assists in the regulation and circulation of vital nutrients in the body.

  • Stay hydrated all day

    • When we are dehydrated our brain actually shrinks and it will not function or heal correctly.  This is especially true for sleep.

  • Do not exercise 2 hours before bed

    • Exercise jump starts our body and brain and it takes time for this effect to wear off.  Exercising too close to bedtime will keep the brain running even when you want to sleep

  • GET ADJUSTED

    • Chiropractic adjustments removes the stress on the nervous system and allows our body to function at its peak performance.  With each adjustment, it also helps our body manage daily stress and reduces the overall cortisol levels in our bodies. Getting adjusted regularly and following the above tips is essential to achieve the best sleep possible.

Christopher Scrivner