Sleep takes up a third of your life
Are you getting enough to stay well?
When we are looking at improving the quality of our sleep, our Wellness Retirementor, Joni Peddie, urges us to get back to the basics of science, biology and understanding our body.
Why is getting sleep – regular, deep sleep – so important?
As with almost all creatures, sleep restores the human body, mind and spirit. What stress, constant demands and turbulent emotions deplete us of daily, can be replenished by a good night’s rest.
“Sleep time is a busy time. Your brain needs to flush out the toxin buildup from the day. Each and every day, while you go about your business, beta amyloid (a toxin) builds up in your brain. To flush out these toxins (which research tells us leads to Alzheimer’s), your Pineal Gland in your brain needs to produce melatonin.
“But here’s the problem: As the sun sets, we switch on our office and home lights, and continue on our laptops or watch TV. We have become ‘multi-taskers’, doing all of this while answering WhatsApp messages and emails on our mobile phone.
“We may not realise that our brain detests all of this ‘after dark’ activity! Biologically we are designed to rest and digest after sunset. However, this seems impossible these days as we live and work in the new era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
Joni advocates “rebooting the brain before you go to sleep.” How do you do this?
“Switch off all devices two hours before you go to bed. If that’s impossible for you, then wear amber tinted glasses to block out the blue light that tells your brain NOT to produce melatonin.
“Start taking note that insufficient sleep affects your overall health and makes you prone to serious medical conditions (obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes). In fact, night shift work is now known as a carcinogen (cancer causing). Given all this knowledge it is surprising that we do not know how to prioritise our sleep! We go on courses or read about time management and productivity tricks to make our lives run more smoothly, but give little attention to our evening ‘time management’ and the necessity to detox our brains.”
Joni concludes: “Remember that you are aiming for uninterrupted sleep. High quality, restorative sleep improves our brain function, aids muscle recovery, boosts longevity, balances our hormones, and protects our hearts and lastly fights fat.”
This short clip (click here) answers some of our ‘sleep’ questions:
- How much sleep do I need?
- Can I ‘catch up’ missed sleep?
- What happens to my body when I don’t sleep?
If you are regularly missing out on uninterrupted, deep sleep, now is the time to become intentional about changing that. The benefits of good sleep cannot be emphasised enough.