Sleep, we all love it, especially the energized feeling when we wake up from a great night's sleep. In the past, sleep was often ignored by doctors and surrounded by myths, but now we are beginning to understand the importance of sleep to overall health and well-being. In fact, when people get less than 6 or 7 hours of sleep each night, their risk for developing diseases begins to increase.
1. Sleep Keeps Your Heart Healthy
Heart attacks and strokes are more common during the early morning hours. This fact may be explained by the way sleep interacts with the blood vessels. Lack of sleep has been associated with worsening of blood pressure and cholesterol, all risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Your heart will be healthier if you get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night.
People working the late shift have a higher risk for breast and colon cancer. Researchers believe this link is caused by differing levels of melatonin in people who are exposed to light at night. Light exposure reduces the level of melatonin, a hormone that makes us sleepy and is also thought to protect against cancer. Melatonin appears to suppress the growth of tumors. Be sure that your bedroom is dark to help your body produce the melatonin it needs.
When your body is sleep deficient, it goes into a state of stress. The body's functions are put on high alert which causes an increase in blood pressure and a production of stress hormones. Higher blood pressure increases your risk for heart attacks and strokes. The stress hormones also, unfortunately, make it harder for you to sleep. to counter the effects of stress
The increase in stress hormones raises the level of inflammation in your body, also creating more risk for heart-related conditions, as well as cancer and diabetes. Inflammation is thought to one of the causes of the deterioration of your body as you age.
Of course, a good night's sleep makes you feel energized and alert the next day. Being engaged and active not only feels great, it increases your chances for another good night's sleep. When you wake up feeling refreshed, use that energy to get out into the daylight, do active things, and be engaged in your world. You'll sleep better the next night and increase your daily energy level.
Researchers do not fully understand why we sleep and dream, but a process called memory consolidation occurs during sleep. While your body may be resting, your brain is busy processing your day, making connections between events, sensory input, feelings and memories. Your dreams and deep sleep are an important time for your brain to make memories and links. Getting more quality sleep will help you remember and process things better.
Researchers have also found that people who sleep less than seven hours per night are more likely to be overweight or obese. It is thought that the lack of sleep impacts the balance of hormones in the body that affect appetite. The hormones ghrelin and leptin, important for the regulation of appetite, have been found to be disrupted by lack of sleep. So if you are interested in controlling or losing weight, don't forget to pay attention to getting a good night's sleep.
Napping during the day is not only an effective and refreshing alternative to caffeine, it can also protect your health and make you more productive. A study of 24,000 Greek adults showed that people who napped several times a week had a lower risk for dying from heart disease. People who nap at work have much lower levels of stress. Napping also improves memory, cognitive function and mood.
Sleep impacts many of the chemicals in your body, including serotonin. People with a deficiency in serotonin are more likely to suffer from depression. You can help to prevent depression by making sure you are getting the right amount of sleep, between 7 and 9 hours each night.
Sleep is a time for your body to repair damage caused by stress, ultraviolet rays and other harmful exposures. Your cells produce more protein while you are sleeping. These protein molecules form the building blocks for cells, allowing them to repair damage.
There is always a right way to sleep. Follow these simple tips;
Going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time all the time will help program your body so that the detox that takes place at night, does so at the exact times.
Your bedroom should be calming with peaceful colors that will help you to switch off from your day. The temperature should be also comfortable. A temperature of 23 degrees is ideal if possible. The room should be as dark as possible.
It is difficult to get a good nights rest if your bed is too small, or too hard or too soft. Use a comfortable pillow if you need one. The body was not meant to sleep with a pillow.
Regular, moderate exercise every day such as walking or swimming can help relieve the days stresses. Make sure it’s not just before bedtime because the activity may keep you awake.
Caffeine in coffee, teas or even soft drinks can keep you awake and also prevents us from falling deeply to sleep. Have a cup of Green Tea or Herbal Tea instead after dinner.
Avoid excess food, alcohol or smoking till at least three hours before bedtime. It can play havoc in your different systems and consequently your sleep patterns. Alcohol may help you sleep initially but will interrupt your sleep later in the night.
A warm bath, listening to calming music, and gentle stretches such as Yoga asana will help you to relax body, mind and spirit. Switch off your mind from your days activities and all that has to be done the next day. Don’t create any lists just before bedtime.
We are starting a new treatment - a 30 minutes Siesta as a Wellbeing treatment at Spadunya Club. Please book in advance for a 30 minutes session which can follow or preceed your treatment. The charge will be aed 50 for a 30 minutes or aed 95 for a one hour siesta. You can also come in for only a siesta during your work day. In a lightly lit or dark room you will sleep in cocooning conditions that induce deep relaxation. You will hear soothing music and will be covered by an extra blanket. A warm cup of coffee or an organic chocolate drink will be served either before the nap or on waking. The caffeine actually takes 30 minutes to kick in so the effect is the same.
The siesta habit has recently been associated with a 37% reduction in coronary mortality, possibly due to reduced cardiovascular stress due to daytime sleep. It is still unknown whether it is the daytime nap itself, a supine posture or the expectancy of a nap that is the most important factor. It was recently suggested that a short nap can reduce stress and blood pressure with the main changes in BP occurring between the time of lights off and the onset of stage 1. Napping or siestas also revitalize the napper and increases alertness and motor skills. The short duration prevents nappers from sleeping so long that they enter the slow wave portion of the normal sleep cycle without completing and disturbing the sleep cycle. Entering deep, slow-wave sleep and failing to complete the normal sleep cycle, can result in a phenomenon known as sleep inertia, where one feels groggy, disoriented, and even more sleepy than before beginning the nap.