Are you getting enough sleep?

May 13, 2021

Here The LiveWell offers the top 6 tips for maintaining good sleep hygiene, which is so important for recovery, cognitive function, performance, health and disease prevention:

Are you getting enough sleep?

Sleep is so important for our health.  It is also the easiest behavior to modify, with some simple routines and tips, that will make a huge return on the changes you make.

We know that sleep is critical for our health.  And without sleep, our bodies literally die.  Think of why they use sleep deprivation in torture situations.  Sleep is where our body replenishes and flushes our system.  Our hormones are activated to repair and regulate our muscles and bones.   In deep sleep, our brain literally washes itself, clearing out debris from hard working neurons and replenishes its blood supply!

Our metabolism is boosted, while growth hormone and sex hormones are released in sleep.  Our hormones usually run on a regular cycle, and this is why we tell our 14 year old son, who wants to continue growing, that 1 hour of sleep before midnight is worth 2 hours after.  Anything you do to get to bed earlier is worth it!

Here are some simple and straight forward tips to improve the quality of your sleep. Things that we can all do right away!

  1. Keep your bedroom cool. Optimal temperature is 65-68 degrees.
  2. Consistency : Go to bed and wake up at the same time.  Without a doubt, this is one of the simplest  things we can do.
  3. Keep your bedroom dark. Cover up any lights from electronic devices and natural light. Consider using a sleep mask if this is difficult.
  4. Supplementation: Melatonin can help you fall asleep, and magnesium can help you stay asleep. (We sell a great quality Magnesium at our clinic)
  5. Be careful about how close to bed you eat. Ideally, try not to eat within 3 hours of going to bed.
  6. Alcohol: We all know alcohol negatively impacts our sleep, but you would be surprised how little it takes to affect our sleep. Any more than 1 drink will have a significant impact on our quality of sleep.

Which brings us to the point of sleep quality versus quantity.

For quality sleep, it is critical to maximize the amount of slow-wave and REM sleep while we are in bed.  Whether you are in bed for 5 hours, or 9 hours, you want to spend as much time as possible in these 2 states.

Basically, REM sleep is when the brain repairs itself for optimal cognitive function. It is when we are dreaming.  If you never remember your dreams, perhaps you are not getting enough REM sleep.

Slow wave sleep is when the body produces 95% of its Human Growth Hormone, which is necessary to repair and maintain joints, muscles, and tendons.  All that hard work in the gym manifests itself here.  Don’t let your effort in exercise go to waste!

So, some simple tips to help you improve the quality of your sleep!  Vitally important for your health, let us know if we can help!