Tips for promoting quality sleep

Home » Services » Newsflash » Tips for promoting quality sleep
sleep-deprivation
Here are some great tips for promoting quality sleep because rest deprivation can have a host of negative impacts on your health. Unfortunately, many people do not get enough quality sleep, in part because of the constant exposure to artificial lights and electronic usage. This negatively affects circadian rhythm via the pineal gland and the secretion of the sleep hormone melatonin. The disconnect from the natural cycles of sleep, as regulated by the rise and setting of the sun, has caused chronic health issues such as these:
  • Increased risk of cancer: During sleep, melatonin is secreted which prevents proliferation of cancer cells. Electromagnetic chaos (radiation and electricity) disrupts the pineal gland and its’ production of melatonin as well.
  • Increased body fat: Sleep encourages the secretion of Leptin, which is a fat regulating hormone that decreases hunger.
  • Increased risk of Type II diabetes Mellitus: According to research, women who slept 5 hours or less every night were 34% more likely to develop diabetes than women who slept 8 hours each night.
  • Depression and anxiety: Fatigue affects emotional perception, creating impatience, moodiness, hypersensitivity and outbursts.
  • Decreased immune function: Sleep deprivation of more than 24 hours show an increase in white blood cell count similar to the rise seen in those who are sick or stressed.
  • Chronic Pain: A study revealed that sleep deprivation was the strongest predictor of pain in those over 50 years old.
  • Premature aging: Growth hormone (often referred to as the anti-aging hormone) is secreted from the pituitary gland during exercise and sleep.
  • Hypertension: Sleep durations of ≤5 hours per night were associated with a significantly increased risk of hypertension

Tips For Promoting Quality Sleep (Sleep Hygiene)

  • Choose a specific time to go to bed that allows for 7-8 hours of sleep. 1 hour prior to bedtime, turn off television, computer, phone and/or tablet to reduce electromagnetic chaos (EMF’s).
  • Avoid drinking large volumes of fluid 2 hours before bedtime to avoid waking in the night to urinate.
  • Discontinue eating 4 hours prior to bed so the body can focus its’ efforts on metabolic healing instead of digestion.
  • Keep bedroom dark and cool at around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Do not sleep with children or animals in the bed.
  • Before bedtime, relax with some deep breathing, stretching, meditating or reading for pleasure. Avoid work-related reading.
  • Keep caffeine consumption restricted to before noon.

 A few more few helpful hints:

  • Naps are wonderful, but keep them limited to 20 minutes and taken before 3pm.
  • Perform daily exercise, preferably in the daytime, to avoid bursts of energy at night.If you should wake in the evening and are unable to fall back asleep after 20 minutes, get up and use this time to be creative.
  • Write, read, paint/draw or meditate.Optimize your light exposure during the day, and minimize light exposure after sunset.
Make sure you get at least 30 to 60 minutes of outdoor light exposure during the day (in the morning if possible). Once the sun sets, minimize artificial light exposure to assist your body in secreting melatonin, which helps you feel tired.
References:
SLEEP 2012; 35(7): 933-940.
Huffington Post. January 9, 2015.
Medicinenet.com. February 16, 2016.
Diabetes Care. 2003. Feb; 26(2): 380-4.
Ann Intern Med. 16, Oct. 2012; 157(8): 549-557.
Reuters. February 19, 2014.
Gangwisch J, Heymsfield S, Boden-Albala B et al. Short Sleep Duration as a Risk
Factor for Hypertension: Analyses of the First National Health and Nutrition
Examination Survey. Hypertension. 2006;47(5):833-839