Benefits of Sleep

We all know we need it, we convince ourselves we don’t need much but all too often we:

  • are out to dinner with friends
  • have late evening sport session
  • read/interact on our devices
  • use the quiet time to get work done because the kids just went down
  • watch Netflix (just one more show) because we’ve just gotten hooked on a new series.
  • we stay up to catch up with our partners
  • we do chores that we didn’t get to throughout the day

We know that we’ll be tired in the morning but we will “try” and catch up tomorrow only to find ourselves in the same situation the next night. There is always something to do before we go to bed and sometimes we ‘just aren’t tired’, which can actually be a sign that we NEED some more sleep!

Lack of sleep can decrease our attention (how many cups of coffee are you drinking in the morning and throughout the day?), it can make you moody/cranky and can also increase your weight and overall inflammation in your body.

The benefits of sleep are many – here are just a few:

  • tissue growth and repair occurs during sleep
  • energy is restored
  • growth hormone is released which is essential for the growth and repair listed above
  • helps to regulate hormones (both the stress hormone cortisol as well as hunger hormones, ghrelin, and leptin)
  • the body clears waste while you sleep
  • the brain works on processing information (any new learning that occurred) and stores the useful bits for later
  • improves immune function

How can you improve your sleep or get to bed earlier?

Try out some or all of these:

  • finish your last meal at least 3 hours before bedtime allowing your digestive system to do it’s work and then allowing your liver to clean house while you sleep
  • put your devices to charge outside the bedroom
  • ensure your bedroom is dark and cool
  • use earplugs to cancel out any noise
  • use an eye mask if there is light entering the bedroom
  • use a nighttime screen darkener like f.lux on your computer and schedule it on your mobile phone if you can not avoid using your device in the evening.
  • try some easy yoga stretches
  • keep your alcohol consumption between 1-2 drinks at least 1 hour before bed.

I could go on…  but I’ll stop here for today. Sleep is important – you should aim for anywhere between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night.  If you are having trouble sleeping or have more questions please get in touch and find out how to improve your sleep health.



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