Repaying Your Sleep Debt
Scientists do not agree on how much sleep debt it is possible to accumulate, whether it is accumulated against an individual’s average sleep or some other benchmark, nor on whether the prevalence of sleep debt among adults has changed appreciably in the industrialized world in recent decades. Additionally they speculate that children are sleeping less than previously in Western societies, which may be setting them up to continue with reduced sleep into their adult life. Enhance your sleeping experience back to being restorative with these gentle gifts to yourself.
Why Sleep Is So Important
Sleep regulates appetite, energy use, and weight control. If we don’t sleep, we don’t function to optimal capacity. During sleep, the body’s production of appetite suppressor Leptin increases, and the appetite stimulant Ghrelin decreases. Deep sleep triggers release of the human growth hormone, which fuels muscle growth and repair of cells and tissues. During sleep your body creates cellular hormones that help the immune system. So if you’re skipping out on sleep, you’re reducing your immune system and ability to fight off infections. Regular sleep is essential for survival, and that’s science talking!
Hacks Worth Shopping For
#1: Find A Good Pillow
Recently I was advised by my massage therapist to sleep on a thin pillow that supports my neck flat. Previously I was sold an orthopedic pillow with a hole for my neck to rest in, by my chiropractor. I tried both, but have since settled the happiest with the flat option so now I need to go shopping for the right material.
“Your ideal pillow filling will depend on the sleeping position you find most comfortable”, Donna Arand, Ph.D., of the Kettering Sleep Disorders Center in Ohio.
According to this article in Martha Stewarts blog, the best pillow materials to sleep better and for your health are natural latex, buckwheat, memory foam, kapok, organic wool and organic cotton.
#2: Install Light-Blocking Curtains
It’s nice to be in a blacked out room especially on days where you’ll be sleeping past sunrise. Light blocking curtains also block sound – which is perfect when your neighbor starts his truck under your bedroom window at 5 in the morning. Try to get the right amount of sunlight exposure everyday as daylight is an important part of regulating daily sleep patterns. Get outside in natural sunlight for at least 30 minutes each day.
#3: Treat Yourself To Plants and Flowers
Freshen up your room with weekly flowers in full bloom, and beautiful green plants in place of anything that might distract you during shut eye. Get rid of bright lights, your phone beside the bed, and a TV or computer in the bedroom. Also, keeping the temperature in your bedroom on the cool side can help you sleep better. Your sleeping environment is important!
See a doctor if you don’t start to sleep better soon. If you consistently find yourself feeling tired or not well rested during the day despite spending enough time in bed at night, you may have a sleep disorder.
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