Benefits of Sleep-Awareness Month
Reduces Inflammation– Increased stress hormones caused by lack of sleep raises the level of inflammation in your body. Inflammation is thought to cause the body to deteriorate as we age.
May Help Prevent Cancer– Researchers believe light exposure reduces melatonin levels. Melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle, is thought to protect against cancer as it appears to suppress the growth of tumors.
Reduces Stress– When your body is sleep deficient, it goes into a state of stress. The body’s functions are put on high alert, which causes high blood pressure and the production of stress hormones.
May Help You Lose Weight– Researchers have found that people who sleep fewer than 7 hours per night are more likely to be overweight or obese. It is thought that a lack of sleep impacts the balance of hormones that affect appetite. The hormones ghrelin and leptin, which regulate appetite, have been found to be disrupted by lack of sleep.
Napping Makes You “Smarter”– Napping during the day is an effective, refreshing alternative to caffeine that is good for your overall health and can make you more productive. People who nap at work show much lower levels of stress. Napping also improves memory, cognitive function, and mood.
IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP
Increase Bright Light Exposure During The Day– Your body has a natural time-keeping clock known as your circadian rhythm. It affects your brain, body and hormones, helping you stay awake and telling your body when it’s time to sleep. Natural sunlight or bright light during the day helps keep your circadian rhythm healthy. This improves daytime energy, as well as nighttime sleep quality and duration.
Reduce Blue Light Exposure in the Evening– Exposure to light during the day is beneficial, but nighttime light exposure has the opposite effect… tricking your brain into thinking it is still daytime. This reduces hormones like melatonin, which help you relax and get deep sleep.
Blue light — which electronic devices like smartphones and computers emit in large amounts — is the worst in this regard. There are several popular methods you can use to reduce nighttime blue light exposure.
-Download an app such as f.lux to block blue light on your laptop or computer.
-Install an app that blocks blue light on your smartphone.
-Stop watching TV and turn off any bright lights two hours before heading to bed.
Consider These Supplements– Several supplements can induce relaxation and help you sleep, including: Melatonin, Ginkgo Biloba, Glycine, Valerian Root, Magnesium, L-theanine, and Lavender.
Optimize Your Bedroom Environment– Many people believe that the bedroom environment and its setup are key factors in getting a good night’s sleep. These factors include temperature, noise, external lights and furniture arrangement.
As you may have experienced during the summer or in hot locations, it can be very hard to get a good night’s sleep when it’s too warm. One study found that bedroom temperature affected sleep quality more than external noise.