Although it may seem obvious to you why sleep matters, there isn’t a consensus among scientists of exactly why. There are a few convincing theories with solid research, including the Restorative Theory. The Restorative Theory states that during sleep your body restores what is lost during the time it is awake and active. Findings show that animals that are completely deprived of sleep lose all immune function and die soon after. Studies done with humans show that major restorative functions such as muscle growth, tissue repair, and growth hormone secretion are only done while asleep. As we have explored previously, the Glymphatic System, the brain’s waste disposal system, is most active while we are asleep. The bottom line is that sleep is essential to our well-being.
3 Steps to take now for better sleep
- Get rid of any light in your bedroom
Too much light disrupts your circadian rhythms and your ability to fall asleep. A study to be presented at a conference for the American Association of Neurology looks at this very problem. After surveying almost 16,000 people about their sleep, they took satellite images of light in the areas these people lived and compared it to how each person rated their sleep. They found that people living in cities were exposed to light at night that was three to six times brighter than what people in rural areas experienced.Compared to people in rural areas, people exposed to bright light at night slept less, felt tired more often during the day, and reported being dissatisfied with their sleep at night. They were also more likely to report waking up confused at night.Remember that before the advent of electricity we lived in complete darkness. Light (or the lack of it) was the cue for our bodies to determine when it was time for bed and when it was time to wake up.
- Get rid of any noise in your bedroom
Light is not the only thing that can disrupt your sleep. Random and distracting noises can be as detrimental as bright lights. Two simple ways to combat this are 1) Get a white noise generator. 2) Get some ear plugs. Make sure you create the perfect environment for restful sleep!
- Invest in a new mattress
Mattresses are the long forgotten piece of furniture in our homes. Although we use our mattress every night, when was the last time you examined your mattress? Is it uneven and lumpy? Does it cave to the center? Are the springs still supporting your weight? When was the last time you cleaned your mattress?!
Here are the two recommendations that I have for mattresses:
-The first is the Classic Silhouette 8 that can be found here. It is a foam mattress so it’s important to have a very sturdy base for it.
-My second recommendation is the Beautyrest Black Line Alexia which you can find here.
Don’t take sleep for granted! In our modern age we are experiencing more stress on a day to day basis than any other time in history, which makes sleep even more important than ever. Take the time to create the perfect environment for your restoration and well-being!