The Importance of Sleep & how to Improve your sleep

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How to improve your sleep:

For most people, sleep is a luxury. About 50 to 70 percent of Americans have a sleep disorder. More than 37.9 percent fall asleep during the day because of tiredness. This puts them at risk for chronic diseases, car accidents, and job loss. Depression, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity are common side effects of poor sleep. 

Statistics show that drowsy driving results in over 40,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths each year. Approximately five percent of obesity cases are linked to poor sleep. Fortunately, it’s never too late to change your sleeping habits and get more rest. From eating sleep-promoting foods to taking hot baths, there are plenty of ways to relax your body before bedtime, which in turn should improve your sleep.

Why Is Sleep Important? 

Along with diet and regular exercise, sleep is crucial to your health. During sleep, your brain processes and retains new information builds synapses, and recovers from stress. Your body repairs damaged cells and tissues produces hormones, and regulates its metabolism. According to researchers, the loss of a single night’s sleep can block brain’s activity and affect memory. 

For young children and teens, sleep is also a time that their bodies are growing and developing. Sleep is a time for the brain to build on memory and decision-making skills for children and perfect the skills they have already been taught. When children are deprived of solid amounts of sleep you will notice they can be more irritated by their peers and their emotions may be intense or erratic. 

This innate habit plays a key role in learning, cognition, memory, muscle growth, and hormone production. Without proper sleep, your body can not function optimally. Improving your sleep can boost your energy and stamina, improve work performance, and keep your hormones within normal levels. You’ll also make better decisions, think clearer, and recover faster from exercise. 

 

 

Stages of Sleep:  

As you fall asleep at night your body will travel through 5 different stages of sleep. Each stage you will spend anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes in that stage and then repeat the cycle, several times throughout the night. 

Here is a short description of the 5 stages of sleep:

Stage 1 is a very light sleep stage, You can easily be woken up and some people say they feel like they are falling and can have body jolts or muscle contractions during this stage.

Stage 2 is when your body temperature will lower and your heartbeat will slow down. Your brain will also slow down and prepare for a deeper sleep.

Stage 3 is a deep sleep. If you are a sleepwalker this is the stage when that activity happens. This is also the stage that children can experience nightmares or bad dreams. 

Stage 4 is also a deep sleep. Just a continuation of stage 3.

Stage 5 is the final stage of sleep before the whole process will begin again. This stage is called REM sleep. Rapid eye movements take place during this stage. Intense dreams and brain activity take place during this stage of sleep.

 

How much sleep do you really need?

The sleep foundations have conducted a 2-year study on sleep and the perfecting the correct amount of sleep for optimum health for each age group. Below is a summary of their findings for the age and length of sleep that is recommended.

  • Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day (previously it was 12-18)
  • Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours (previously it was 14-15)
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours (previously it was 12-14)
  • Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously it was 11-13)
  • School-age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11)
  • Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)
  • Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)
  • Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
  • Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category) 

 

 

Simple Ways to Improve Your Sleep 

If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, tweak your lifestyle habits. Create a bedtime ritual and stick to it. About 30 minutes before you start to get ready for bed. dim the lights. This will be a signal to your body to start to produce melatonin, the hormone that helps you wind down to go to bed.

Refrain from using your smartphone or tablet before going to sleep. Electronic devices keep you awake by suppressing the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. 

 Take a warm bath with Epsom salt before bedtime. When Epsom salt is dissolved in warm water, the magnesium is absorbed through the skin. Magnesium helps promote a feeling of calm and relaxation in the body and will help with falling asleep, This should improve your sleep length & quality.

Your bedroom should only be used for sleeping. When you watch T.V or read a book in bed it confuses the body & mind on what space is intended for. If you only sleep in your bedroom your body will start to associate it will be tired and a space for rest.

Also, it’s recommended to have a light dinner or a high-protein snack. Heavy or fatty meals, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine affect your sleep. A great suggestion for high protein before bed that won’t sit heavy in your stomach is the Isagenix bedtime belly buster. This drink has 18 grams of protein and will help you sleep like a baby.

Avoid taking sleeping pills unless you have no other option. These meds may cause addiction and affect your circadian rhythm. A natural supplement, such as the Brain and Sleep Support System by Isagenix, is safer and has no side effects. This kit includes a sleep-promoting supplement and a spray that boosts brain function and calms your mind. You can also drink a cup of valerian tea, meditate, or drink a glass of warm milk with honey to fall asleep faster.

 

I hope this blog post has provided you with ideas on how to improve your quality and length of sleep you get as well as explain why the importance of sleep is critical to your overall health.

 

Information for General Purposes Only

Information provided on this Web site and on all publications, packaging, and labels is for general purposes only and designed to help you make informed decisions about your health. It is not intended to substitute advice from your physician or health-care professional.

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