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    The Importance of Sleep

    Blog by Econest

    Sleep is incredibly important to your health. By restoring your body, it plays a huge factor on your mental and physical wellbeing. We often underestimate how important good quality sleep is, and do not give it the attention it deserves. Sleep is just as crucial to good health as nutrition and exercise and can impact so many factors of our lives. Once you start prioritising sleep, you should notice the impact it can make, and I guarantee you will notice the difference in your overall wellbeing.

    There are five stages of sleep and you can read more about these and their features here:

     Here are some of the important roles of sleep:

    • Controlling body temperature and energy use (metabolism). 
    • Keeping the immune system working.
    • Controlling brain function and restoring memory.
    • Keeping heart and blood vessels healthy.
    • Repairing tissues and stimulating growth in children (growth hormone released during sleep is responsible for both).
    • Regulating your appetite and weight and controlling your blood glucose levels.

    Here are some tips to help increase your quality of sleep:

    • Spend time outside in the sun during the day. Exposing your body to natural light during the day can help maintain a healthy circadian rhythm and increases your Vitamin D levels which are linked to better sleep quality.
    • Exercise or move your body throughout the day. Getting at least one exercise or movement session in each day is a great way to improve your sleep quality. Exercise relieves symptoms of anxiety and depression which are big factors when it comes to sleep interference or insomnia.
    • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This can be tricky, but even on the weekends it’s best to keep your sleep cycle consistent. This plays into your circadian rhythms too which are physical, mental, and behavioural changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. This should also aid in helping you to feel sleepy at the same time every day.
    • Create a comfortable and calm space to sleep. It is important to get your surroundings correct. Make sure it is dark, quiet and calm. If you can, try not to be on any electronic devises whilst in bed. A relaxing way to send yourself to sleep is to read for a bit before you turn the lights off.

    Pictured: Easyblind black out blinds

     

    • Avoid stimulants and certain foods before bed. Caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol before bed can interrupt your sleep, as can foods that cause indigestion or stomach upset.
    • Limit your screen time an hour before sleeping. TVs, phones, and other electronic devices emit blue light, which can interrupt the hormones that help you fall asleep.
    • Practise breathing. As you’re about to fall asleep, take some deep breaths in through your nose. Focus on the inhalation and exhalation of the breathe or use a sound machine, this automatically helps train your breathe to be deeper and more even, aiding a relaxed and peaceful sleep.