Healthy sleep patterns and habits give your body superpowers. Yet for many of us, it’s the first thing to go when life gets messy or we want to get ahead of our to-do list. But we don’t really need that much sleep, right? Not quite. Unfortunately, skipping sleep in the short term is a poor long-game strategy for your health.
Along with feeling groggy and tired, there are some serious consequences for losing sleep. Studies consistently show that those who struggle with ongoing sleep deprivation are more likely to develop chronic health disorders like diabetes, obesity, depression, cardiovascular disease, and more.
After you read this, you won’t want to go another day without making time for sleep! Find out just why sleep is so important for your health and a few simple ways to get better sleep each night.
Benefits of Healthy Sleep
Getting quality sleep is just as necessary to your health as eating nutritious foods, drinking clean water, and breathing fresh air. From head to toe, your body needs sleep. Your muscles and organs rely on rest to maintain healthy function, and your brain needs sleep to process information, store memory, and learn. Let’s learn a few ways that prioritizing your sleep can give your body a healthy boost:
Healthy sleep helps your brain stay sharp.
When your body is asleep, your brain is active. During rest, the brain can create neural connections, store memory, learn, and adapt. Quality sleep also prevents the development of cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Healthy sleep keeps your stress under control.
Give your body the rest it needs and you might discover that all those overwhelming stressors are actually more manageable than you thought. Without enough sleep, the nervous system overreacts to triggers, and our stress is magnified. With quality sleep, you’ll be prepared to respond to stress, rather than react to it.
Healthy sleep helps you lose weight and keep it off.
If you’re trying to lose weight, make sure sleep is one of your top priorities. A regular sleep schedule ensures that your metabolism stays on track, you have plenty of energy to exercise, and your mood is balanced (which helps you avoid stress snacking…). But, don’t just take our word for it. Studies show that quality sleep is needed to keep the hormones involved with appetite regulation (ghrelin and leptin) in balance. Sleep also helps the body digest properly and reduces inflammation and excess water weight. Not to mention, sleep is crucial for stress relief (as we saw above). When stress is low and cortisol is under control, losing weight is faster and easier.
Healthy sleep gives your immune system a boost.
Without sleep, your body is weakened and vulnerable to falling ill. With great sleep, however, your immune system is a healthy disease-fighting machine. The immune system requires a hefty dose of energy to function properly. And that means we need plenty of rest to stock up. Sleep is also when certain vital immune functions happen. For instance, during sleep, the body produces cytokines — which are special proteins that quickly target infections and inflammation.
Healthy sleep helps your hormones stay in balance.
Hormones play a part in countless body functions, from how fast your metabolism is to how you put on weight to how fertile you are. Unfortunately, hormones can be tricky to manage in the best of times. But with a solid sleep schedule, you’ll give your body the resources it needs to keep them in check.
Healhty sleep allows you to be your best self.
No one is at their best when they’re starved of the rest. Sleep deprivation makes us cranky, forgetful, anxious, and depressed. Thankfully, the reverse is true, too. Having a healthy sleep schedule helps you keep your moods balanced. When you’re well-rested, you are naturally more calm, compassionate, and happy.
How to Get a Great Night’s Sleep – Every Night
There’s no question about it – sleep is essential if you want to live a healthier life. But getting quality sleep isn’t always so cut and dry. If you find yourself counting sheep and clock watching night after night, try these simple tips to settle into a better sleep routine and finally feel rested.
#1: Set your schedule, then stick to it!
One of the easiest ways to get into a better sleep schedule is to simply start with your schedule. Set a bedtime and a wake time that fits your lifestyle while still offering you at least 7 hours of sleep. Then, stick to the plan! Try to avoid sleeping in on weekends or staying up late to do “just one more thing.” You’ll feel more rested and more productive when you’re on a regular schedule.
#2: Stay active to get better rest.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, fight stress, or just get to bed on time, exercise can help. Studies show that those who exercise regularly fall asleep quicker, enjoy more restorative REM sleep, and experience fewer instances of insomnia. For the best results, exercise first thing in the morning or sometime before noon. Exercising later in the day or before bed could stimulate your brain and make it harder to fall asleep.
#3: Fall asleep faster with Relax & Calm.
Is the pressure of modern life weighing down on you? It could be impacting your sleep and health. In fact, stress is one of the most common reasons people miss out on the sleep they need to thrive. Greeting each day more tired than the last just makes stress grow, and the cycle continues.
Stop the vicious cycle with an all-natural, non-habit-forming supplement. Aceva’s Relax & Calm is a 2-in-1 formula that naturally reduces stress and the feeling of being overwhelmed while simultaneously helping your body fall into a restorative, calming sleep.
Healthy Sleep, Healthy Life
As we’ve seen, sleep is an essential element of a healthy life. With sleep, you’ll be able to live life to the fullest. Without it, you could be setting yourself up for more challenges and struggle with more than just brain fog and fatigue.
If you struggle with getting quality sleep, it’s time to talk to your chiropractor to understand the bigger picture. Sure, chiropractors are experts in all things bone and joint, but we’re also passionate about helping you create a whole lifestyle of wellness. Sleep issues are often just one piece of a larger health puzzle.
Your local AlignLife chiropractor is here to help you get to the root of your sleep troubles and put you on a healthier path. Reach out to get an expert’s opinion today.