What is the importance of quality sleep?
Getting enough sleep is essential for helping a person maintain optimal health and well-being. When it comes to our health, sleep is as vital as regular exercise and eating a balanced diet. Everyone can benefit from better quality Sleep. Even if you sleep for eight hours a night, doesn't mean you are getting the best rejuvenating sleep that you can. When we are sleeping there is much more happening to our bodies than we are conscious of. We repair, file information, release hormones, reduce cortisol levels, and reduce inflammation. We are learning all the time about new benefits of quality sleep.
How has the quality of our sleep changed in the modern world?
Sleep is said to be a public health crisis of the modern world, as up to one third of the population may suffer from insomnia or other sleep problems. This will in turn affect our mood, energy, concentration levels, relationships, and our ability to function throughout the day. Modern living can mean that we are more stimulated than we naturally should be when we wish to sleep. This can lead to less quality of sleep than we optimally need.
How does the quality of sleep affect us?
Quality sleep and rejuvenation is essential for our health and wellbeing. Sleep is a crucial function that allows our body and mind to recharge from mental and physical exertion. Quality sleep helps the body remain healthy and stave off diseases. Without enough sleep, the brain cannot function properly, which can impair our abilities to concentrate, think clearly, and process memories. Getting poor sleep can also lead to obesity and mental health issues, as it has been estimated that 90% of people with depression complain about sleep quality.
Methods to promote quality sleep:
- Reduce the time looking at our phone before bed, as the screen emits blue light which blocks the hormone melatonin which helps to make us feel tired.
- Physical activity improves sleep quality and increases sleep duration. Exercise may also bolster sleep in other ways, because it reduces stress and tires us out.
- Reduce caffeine intake at least 7 hours before bed as caffeine stimulates our nervous system and may stop our body from relaxing at night.
- Be consistent with our sleep and waking times, as this will aid in long-term sleep quality.
- Consume a healthy diet as this can help us fall asleep fast, enhance sleep quality and duration. Getting consistent high-quality sleep can actually help us eat better, so it's a win win.