Optimize your Sleep
Updated: Mar 19
One of the FIRST things to change when changing your health, and your life.
Sleep is a... Funny thing. It's absolutely necessary for health and vitality, yet many of us have trouble getting enough. Whether that is self induced, or because of impeding factors inhibiting from getting adequate ZZZs.
It's hard, or impossible, to pinpoint any one thing that is the CAUSE of your sleep issues, as sleep issues can stem from a multitude of factors. Research shows that sleep quality is directly correlated to every aspect of your health, and every essential of health. Addressing every one of these essentials is, well, essential! Optimizing sleep is a delicate balance between proper nervous system functioning, nutrition and nutrient balance, gut health, hormonal balance, stress and psychological health, etc.
Why Value your ZZZ's??
Well.. what happens when we are sleep DEPRIVED???
Dramatically impaired performance.. Physically and mentally. (...earth shattering, I know).
Just a few more hours a week can significantly improve your memory and performance in literally every aspect.
Significantly depresses immune system
Negatively impacted HRV (heart rate variability), and how your nervous system is able to adapt to stress.
Reduced recovery and healing
Majority of these vital processes take place during sleep!!
Can lead to a pre-diabetic state (Affects blood sugar regulation)
Melatonin production (Improves ability to fall asleep, as well as other positive physiological effects such as anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits).
When circadian rhythms are off, melatonin production drops... which also hinders your mind and body to fall asleep, and get a restful night. Melatonin is also a strong antioxidant that combats nasty free radicals.
Melatonin is released by pituitary gland 'keeping you looking young'
Sleep deprivation leads to dysregulation of hormone production:
Growth hormone is primarily released at night! Testosterone is also released in higher quantities at night. Depriving your body of these normal fluctuations reduces the body's ability to recover and heal.
Cortisol spikes after 11pm to keep you awake.. so get to bed earlier! Take advantage of the time without excess cortisol running through your body.
Tumors have been shown to grow 2-3X faster (lab animals w/sleep dysfunction)
Increased heart disease and blood pressure
Along with other stress related issues; ulcers, constipation, mood disorders.
"Sleepiness affects vigilance, reaction times, learning abilities, alertness, mood, hand-eye coordination, and the accuracy of short-term memory. Sleepiness has been identified as the cause of a growing number of on-the-job accidents, automobile crashes and multi-model transportation tragedies."