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Sleep Hygiene - Is Your Sleep Affecting Your Overall Health?

Updated: Oct 27, 2022

"Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together."--Thomas Dekker

Sleep is a big part of rest and recovery. Obtaining healthy sleep is vital for your physical and mental health, productivity and overall quality of life.

“"Go to bed you'll feel better tomorrow" is the human version of "Did you try turning it off and on again?" A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything. You miss 100% of the naps you don't take. I love sleep because it's like a time machine to breakfast.”

Sleep is essential for our biological life function. While we sleep, many important functions take place that help the body recover and repair, support brain development, cardiac function and body metabolism, as well as enhance learning capability, improve memory and enhance your mood.

Your central nervous system is the main information highway of your body. Sleep is necessary to keep it functioning properly. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone in our body, which is responsible for increasing sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhancing your brain's use of glucose and increasing the availability of substances that repair tissues. Cortisol also curbs functions that would be nonessential or harmful in a fight-or-flight situation.

Sleep deprivation leads to elevated levels of cortisol. To heal and feel physically and mentally strong, you need to keep that stress hormone at an optimal level.

Long-term effects of sleep deprivation are real. Our sleep affects almost every tissue in our body, including our growth and stress hormones, our immune system, appetite, breathing, blood pressure and cardiovascular health. Research shows that lack of sleep increases the risk for obesity, heart disease and infections.

Sleep Hygiene

These reasons prove that your sleep hygiene is critical to your health. So, what is sleep hygiene? It is the system that supports your bedroom environment and daily routine to promote consistent, uninterrupted sleep. Ideal sleep hygiene consists of the following:

  • A relaxing pre-bedtime routine with limited screen time to minimise exposure to blue lights

  • Healthy daytime habits, including nutrition and exercise

  • A stable sleep schedule

  • A comfortable room that is free of disruptions

Everyone’s sleep hygiene is different. It is critical to tailor hygiene practices to your own unique needs. As you’re developing your sleep practice, it’s helpful to apply positive habits that ensure sound sleep and make you feel well rested. These habits can be as simple as limiting caffeine after 12pm. Six hours after caffeine is consumed, half of it is still in your body. It can take up to ten hours to completely clear caffeine from your bloodstream.

We encourage you to consider your sleep hygiene and develop a habit or system that works for you to enable a healthy sleep cycle and support your journey to optimal health.

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