Why Having Good Quality Sleep Every Night is so Important for our Health
The importance of a good night's sleep
- One of the reasons is that sleep lets your brain catch up so that it is ready for the next day and what is coming. Plenty of sleep will ensure a sharper brain because it plays a big part both for learning and memory.
- The brain also helps to process your emotions while you are asleep so that your mind can use the time to recognize and react the right way. What happens if you don't get enough sleep is that you could have more negative emotional reactions and less positive ones.
- Good sleep helps to avoid having a mood disorder because insomnia can mean a much higher risk of developing depression, anxiety or panic attacks.
- Sleep means your blood pressure will be lower, giving your heart and blood vessels a rest too. The less sleep, the longer the blood pressure stays up with the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- If you are a keen sportsman or sportswoman and your sport requires quick bursts of energy or endurance, lack of sleep will rob you of energy and time for muscle repair, it will sap your motivation and could mean a harder mental and physical challenge. Your best performance can be achieved with proper rest and sleep.
- Blood sugar can be less erratic with a good sleeping pattern (especially that deepest stage in your sleep cycle) when the amount of glucose in your blood can drop.
- When you continually suffer from too little sleep, your immune system can be affected so that it becomes less effective in identifying and attacking any harmful bacteria and viruses.
- Even weight control can be affected by lack of sleep. When you are well-rested, you will feel less hungry. When you are tired, you are less likely to exercise and more likely to eat unhealthy foods.
- Sleep deprivation not only affects cognitive function but can also negatively affect your ability to carry out essential bodily tasks like digestion.
- Those who don`t sleep well tend to have a very low tolerance to stress and low empathy which explains why some people become nervous and suffer from anxiety when they are sleep deprived.
How much sleep do most of us need every night?
Ideally, most of use should aim for seven to eight hours of sleep for the maximum benefits for our health and wellbeing. In fact, if you regularly sleep for more than nine hours a night, this can actually do more harm than good.
Getting a proper nights’ rest on a regular basis isn’t just a good idea, it’s an essential one. One of the biggest factors when it comes to your sleep cycle is melatonin which is a hormone that’s made by the pineal gland in the brain. It is primarily responsible for regulating your body’s circadian rhythm to manage your natural sleep cycle. The production and release of Melatonin is connected to the time of day, increasing when it’s dark and decreasing when it’s light.
Melatonin is also a renowned natural sleep aid and is used across the world as a popular dietary supplement. In addition to improving your natural sleep cycle, melatonin is also involved in managing a healthy immune system, blood pressure and cortisol levels. Aging can lead to a decline in natural melatonin production.
You can maximize your natural melatonin production by:
- Getting more sleep!
- Ensuring you have a darkened bedroom for sleeping as melatonin production is increased by darkness. Use blackout curtains or blinds if necessary and remove any artificial light, putting away digital devices, mobile phones and bright alarm clocks well before going to sleep.
- Avoiding foods or drinks before bedtime that will induce stress hormone production or cause blood sugar imbalances during the night. Examples include heavy meals, sugar, caffeine and alcohol.
- Daytime light exposure which will promote a regular circadian rhythm of melatonin and help ensure higher levels at night time.
It is known that women suffer from insomnia at two to three times the rate that men do. Men, on the other hand, are twice as likely to have their slumber spoiled by sleep apnea, a chronic condition characterized by brief episodes of restricted breathing but this condition is not nearly as common as insomnia itself.
Further tips for getting that good night's sleep
Here is the recipe for one simple natural remedy...
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- 1/4 teaspoon of raw honey
- 1/8 teaspoon natural sea salt
Add a few drops of our own H-Sleep Aid Formula either to your warm soothing bedtime bath or to the back of the neck before settling down. This is another natural sleep remedy for mild to chronic sleeplessness. Causes for insomnia include anxiety and stress and this has been common knowledge for centuries. The calming properties of lavender are what makes their essential oils such an important aid for soothing and relaxing sleep.
Something you might not have thought of is doing some gentle exercises at bedtime especially if you are feeling at all anxious or stressed. Here are some suggestions and squats are top of the list!
There are also plants that you can use to help you sleep
And you can safely share your sleeping space with at least one of these plants.
1. Aloe Vera
According to research, aloe plants keep on releasing oxygen all night long, helping to fight insomnia while ensuring your body stays in a peaceful and relaxed state as you dream.
2. Snake Plant
3. English Ivy
English Ivy improves the quality of the air that you breathe as you sleep. It eliminates toxins in that air while adding healthy, life giving oxygen. It also plays a great part in reducing airborne mold by up to 94%.
4. White Jasmine
White jasmine has a wonderful aroma but that powerful scent is not just good to sniff - it also has several natural healing properties. For thousands of years, insomniacs have used this plant to help them sleep and reduce their anxiety.
How does sleep affect your heart health? (2018).
cdc.gov/features/sleep-heart-health/index.html .(Accessed July 30, 2021)
Insomnia: What you need to know as you age. (n.d.).
hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy_aging/diseases_and_conditions/insomnia-what-you-need-to-know-as-you-age. (Accessed July 30, 2021)
Koulivand PH, et al. (2013). Lavender and the nervous system. DOI:
Krystal AD. (2013). Psychiatric disorders and sleep.
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3493205. (Accessed July 30, 2021)
Sharpless BA, et al. (2011). Lifetime prevalence rates of sleep paralysis: A systematic review.
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3156892/. (Accessed July 30, 2021)