You’ve probably heard from just about everyone, from doctors to friends, telling you that a good night’s sleep is an essential part of maintaining your overall health. And this makes sense, because when you get a good night’s rest you are less likely to be irritable the next morning, have more energy, and just overall feel better.
But getting enough sleep and getting restful sleep can be a difficult task to achieve. With the hustle and bustle of your day and the stresses of everyday life, winding down for sleep can be hard some days. But winding down is an important step to ensuring your quality of sleep is better. When you are more relaxed before bed, it is easier to fall into a deeper (and more restful) night’s sleep.
Luckily, Dr. Emil is here to help. With a medical background and experience in the field, Dr. Emil is a great source of information regarding anything to do with your health, including your sleep patterns. In this article we’ll look at why sleep is so important and how to achieve the best sleep you can.
You can expect to read about the following in the article below:
- Why a good night’s sleep is so important for your health
- What winding down means means
- Winding down and how to get your body ready for sleep
- 3 tips for a better night’s sleep
Why is a Good Night’s Sleep so Important for Your Health?
It’s no secret that sleep is important, but why exactly is that?
It is no secret that a good night’s sleep is essential to our overall health; you’ve probably heard doctors after doctors talking about it. But have you ever really stopped to consider why exactly sleep is so important to our health? Aside from allowing you to feel better in the morning after a restful sleep at night, getting enough sleep can have other benefits to both your mental and physical health.
When a person doesn’t get enough sleep it can cause sleep deprivation or deficiency. Sleep deprivation is a term that refers to when a person doesn’t get enough sleep. Sleep deficiency is a broader concept that can refer to not getting enough sleep (sleep deprivation), sleeping at the wrong time of the day, or you have a sleep disorder that affects your quality of sleep. Sleep deficiency can have a lot of negative effects on your body, which is why sleep is so essential.
When we get enough sleep, it can positively affect our health. Some of the benefits of getting enough sleep at night and the importance of sleep to your health can include:
Lower Risk of Developing Heart Disease
Sleep is believed to be linked to overall better heart health, but it can especially help you to control your blood pressure. When you get enough sleep at night your body can better regulate the blood flow throughout your body. This can help to prevent high blood pressure, which is one of the risk factors for developing heart disease.
Cognitive and Memory Improvement
Getting enough sleep at night has been linked to better memory function and overall thought processing. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body might not be able to process memory. Lack of sleep can also affect your hormone levels, which can affect your overall cognitive function.
Help Dealing With or Preventing Depression
It is no secret that sleep can help to regulate your emotions; think about how you feel when you don’t get enough sleep. You might experience mood swings, be irritable, and just overall not feel like yourself. There are many studies that link sleep and good mental health, and it is believed that people who suffer from sleep deficiency are more likely to develop depression.
Strengthen Your Immune System
On a more physical level, ensuring you get enough sleep each night can help your body regulate, reset, and repair itself while you snooze. This is believed to have the same effect on your immune system. While more research is still needed to prove this theory, many scientists argue that good sleep is essential to immune health.
What Does Getting a Restful Sleep Mean?
What makes sleep good?
Now that you know why good sleep is so important to your health, let’s take a look at what good sleep means. What’s the difference between a restful sleep and a low quality sleep, and how can you know if you are getting one or the other? There are many factors that go into sleep and there are many different stages to your sleep cycle each night. Understanding these stages can help you know which kind of sleep your body is getting at night.
Stage 1 NREM: Light Sleep
The 1st stage of sleep is the lightest stage of sleep. This is the stage of sleep where a person can usually be easily woken up as it is the transition stage between being awake and being asleep. In this stage your body begins to wind down, your muscles relax, and your breathing begins to slow as your body prepares for sleep.
Stage 2 NREM: Deeper Sleep
During this stage of sleep your body will relax further, your heartbeat slows, and your body temperature will drop. This is the stage of sleep where your brain-wave activity will slow (except for the occasional burst, known as sleep spindles), allowing your body to settle deeper into sleep. This is the stage that the average person spends most of their night’s sleep in.
Stage 3 NREM: Deepest Sleep
A person spends about 25% of their time sleeping in the 3rd stage of sleep. This stage of sleep is also known as slow-wave sleep (SWS) where your brain-wave levels drop to their slowest level and it is the hardest to wake someone during this stage. The Deepest Sleep stage is where a person will typically experience sleepwalking and night terrors.
Stage 4 REM: Dreaming
In the final stage of sleep (about 90 minutes after a person first falls asleep), a person will experience dreaming or nightmares. Your brain-wave activity will rise close to what it is when you are awake while your muscles will remain relaxed to prevent a person from moving in their dream. REM sleep can last anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour.
Winding Down: How to Get Your Body Ready for Sleep
A good night routine is essential to a restful night of sleep
In order to get a restful sleep at night it can help to have a good night routine to help you wind down for bed each night. Winding down essentially refers to the activity of calming your body before sleep so that it is easier for your body to transition from wakefulness to sleep once you lay down in bed. Having a stable night routine can condition your body to know when it is time to wind down.
If you struggle with insomnia, a bedtime routine can help you relax and prepare for bed so your body has a better chance at going to sleep. Having a night routine can be as complex or simple as you want it to be. You can make an effort to do some self care before bed each night, read a little of your favorite book, or even just brushing your teeth or changing into your pajamas can become your nightly routine.
Winding down also doesn’t have to just mean having a nightly routine, though this can be very helpful. Winding your body down for sleep can involve anything that helps your body to relax at night. You could make a cup of tea that helps you sleep, try a sleep supplement to help you sleep (Dr. Emil’s Bedtime Burn is a good one to try), or do physical activity early in the evening to help your body become tired.
3 Tips to Get a Better Night’s Sleep
Here’s some ways to help you get a more restful sleep
There are plenty of tips and tricks out there to help you get a healthy night’s sleep, but how do you know which ones will actually work and if there’s any real science behind them? If you find yourself struggling to get to sleep, stay asleep, or to get a quality night’s rest, then give any of these 3 tips to help you get a better night’s sleep each night.
1. Make Your Room Sleep-Friendly
Creating a space in your bedroom that is welcoming to sleep and makes you feel calm can help your body relax to get a better sleep at night. Think about it: when you are anxious or uncomfortable it is harder to relax. This can mean investing in comfortable bedding that makes you feel warm and relaxed, lowering the lights in your room to create a sleep-friendly atmosphere, or keeping all phones or screens out of your room at night to prevent distraction.
2. Avoid Too Much Caffeine
Everyone knows that caffeine can help to wake you up. If you’re a coffee lover, then you know how that morning cup of caffeine can really make or break your day. While you don’t have to cut out caffeine completely to ensure you get to sleep at night, consider limiting yourself to one or two cups a day or make it a point to not have caffeine after a certain time in the evening so your body can wind down easier.
3. Relaxation Techniques
Taking five or ten minutes each evening to do some relaxation exercises can really help to improve your sleep quality. This can be anything from gentle stretching, deep breathing, or some light meditation before bed. Having this quiet time before you go to sleep to help your body relax can make it easier for you to fall asleep and to get a restful night’s sleep.
If you struggle with getting enough sleep at night, not getting a quality night’s sleep, or you are just looking for ways to help your body relax before bed, then use this article as a blog to help you improve your sleep each night. Sleep has such a powerful impact on our health and making sure the sleep you are getting is good is just as important.
Everyday activities and functions are easier to do and achieve with a restful night’s sleep, but getting to that point can be difficult for some. Finding a way to help your body wind down each night before bed can help you achieve your goal of getting a better sleep at night. There are plenty of sleep aids out there that can help too and sticking to a healthy bedtime routine can be very beneficial.