Did you know that there is a possible link between not enough or poor sleep, and illnesses?
Some of these, to name a few, are:
- Autoimmune conditions
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Metabolic Syndrome.
There have been a number of sleep studies undertaken worldwide which demonstrate the great importance of sleep and corroborates the fact that many of us are just frankly not getting enough. The latest sleep studies show that sleeping more on one day, does not necessarily make up for the sleep missed the day before, and that even after a short time of missing out on adequate sleep, your health begins to suffer.
The reason for this is that deep sleep is an important part of our sleep cycle where we experience ‘restorative sleep’ and our bodies repair. Our body will then deal with excreting cortisol (the stress hormone) and our immune systems are given a chance to fight off any intruders. Scientists say that we need a minimum of seven hours a night to stay healthy and too much sleep – more than 9 hours – can actually shorten your life. So getting the right amount of sleep is very important to your overall health and is an awesome preventative measure towards beating illnesses at their own game.
I can hear you all crying out, “but I just can’t fall asleep”, or, “I’m too busy and I have too much to do when I get home from work”. So what can be done about this? Look at the time you need to wake up in the morning. Count seven hours back, add half an hour to prepare for bed and that is the time you need to go to bed. If it takes you longer than half an hour to prepare for bed, you need to take this into account.
If you have persistent problems falling asleep perhaps try some meditation CD’s to help you get into the sleep mood. Samantha, our Naturopath, can help treat long standing sleep problems such as insomnia (both sleep onset and maintenance insomnia) with a well balanced diet as well as natural medicines. Natural medicines are preferred, as opposed to sleeping tablets, as these may be addictive and cut short your much-needed dream cycles.
Remember your sleep environment should be:
- Dark. Shut out natural light as well as possible and if some light is unavoidable, wear an eye sleep mask.
- Clear of distractions (e.g. T.V, mobile phones, laptops)
- A cool temperature (20 degrees)
- Set with crisp and clean bedding, and
- Include a comfortable pillow and mattress.
If your mattress is more than 10-15 years old we recommend you talk to Elizabeth, our Chiropractor, about a mattress which will suit your specific needs.