Importance of Quality Sleep

Good day to all the Natural Health Family. We were blessed with great weather this weekend, hope everyone was able to get outside to enjoy it. With the great weather we also had to lose an hour of sleep this weekend. This brings me to the topic of this post, the importance of quality SLEEP. 

    Sleep is necessary for all of us. Many people continue to have a good amount of stress throughout the day and sleep is an important process of healing and regenerating. However, many people find it hard to go to sleep, stay asleep, or wake up feeling refreshed. This could be due to various factors. However, let’s focus on some key points such as eating, light, and movement/relaxation, that are important for good quality sleep. 

    Sometimes people don’t get quality sleep because of the foods they eat and/or the time in which they eat the food. If you eat poor quality food such as processed foods or foods that are high in sugar, you may be affecting your sleep in a negative way. More than 90% of the neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) are produced in the gut. This is why eating certain foods can cause poor sleep patterns. Also, eating too late in the night may cause issues for some people because your body is using energy for digestion and not able to relax. This varies between people. 

    Sleeping is impacted based on the amount of light you have entering the room where you sleep. When the body senses light, whether on the skin or the eyes, your body produces serotonin which is the wakefulness hormone. Serotonin tells the body to start the process of waking up to start the day. When we have too much light before or during sleep such as lights, tvs, cellphones, etc., we are not allowing our bodies to wind down for the night. When we have too much light stimulation before or during sleep our bodies can’t produce melatonin, a hormone that works opposite of serotonin. Melatonin is also important for overall health and has multiple benefits. It is important before going to bed to limit light exposure and make your bedroom dark for a good night’s rest. 

    People sometimes have trouble sleeping when they haven’t moved enough during the day and/or they haven’t been able to relax their mind. When we haven’t moved enough during the day, our bodies don’t feel the need to sleep during the night. Moving during the day can be simply doing 10-20 minutes of any movement such as walking or a fitness routine. This can help our bodies to transport the sufficient blood and nutrient flow to other parts of the body. Relaxing our mind is also critical for a good night’s sleep. When we can’t relax our mind due to stressful thinking, our brain unintentionally is telling our body to stay tense so that it is prepared for that stress. This causes our muscles to be tight which prevents us from good quality sleep. A good way to help with this is to practice placing your awareness on different body parts head to toe and focusing on relaxing each area. Another way to relax is to practice finding little things to be grateful for at the end of your day. When we feel grateful we are telling ourselves that the environment is safe and that it is fine for us to sleep.  

    Sleep is important for everyone to heal and be well. If you practice good sleeping habits, you will find that you are able to wake feeling more refreshed and eventually not need as much sleep. Let’s have a great week with great sleep.