Getting a good night’s sleep isn’t only for your beauty. Poor sleep is proven to affect the body in a multitude of ways. Improving your sleep cycle will help heal your body inside as well as remove those pesky suitcases under your eyes!
Sleep is essential to maximizing your body’s functionality. So much so, that even professional sports organizations understand the connection between elite performance and sleep. When you don’t sleep well, your body just won’t hit its peak. You can see the evidence of this in plenty of sporting competitions.
In the NFL, teams play in different time zones. Teams from the West coast struggle when they travel to play in stadiums on the East coast – East coast teams win 5% more games. Sorting your sleep pattern might not turn you into an NFL athlete(you wish), but your body will reward you in different ways.
Spending the right time in bed isn’t only about pushing the physical limits of your body. Good sleep also helps you avoid falling into a low mental state. Sleep is important, yet a lot of us take it for granted. Unfortunately, statistics show that many Americans do not sleep well – 1 in 3 do not get sufficient sleep on a regular basis.
If you are wondering – what causes mental illness? Possibly an unhealthy relationship with sleep could be fundamental to the answer.
The Importance of Sleep
There has been much debate whether poor sleep causes or is a symptom of mental illness. The general conclusion is that an altered sleep cycle can be both. The same can be said for chronic disease and sleep. Chronic pain can affect your sleep cycle; a broken sleep cycle can also spark the development of various persisting pains. The link between stable sleep and good health is clear.
Have you ever had a difficult night’s sleep, or a few, and have woken up a little angry and less sharp? Research shows that your body needs to go through the stages of sleep, such as REM sleep, to fight off negative emotions and fortify the positive memories you have created in the daytime.
Losing sleep starts to warp these processes, which filter our emotions. For example, a lack of REM sleep prompts more activity in your limbic brain structures. When the limbic structures are not functioning correctly, you will focus on things that negatively stimulate the brain. If you are not sleeping well on consecutive days, these negative thoughts will not disappear. From this example, it is clear how mental illnesses like depression can manifest in a sleep-deprived person. Over 70% of people living with depression show symptoms of insomnia; people with insomnia have very fragmented sleep cycles.
A Brief Overview of REM Sleep
REM sleep, the short stage of sleep when you dream the most, is also crucial for pain management. Studies have revealed that our ability to resist infection is closely linked to sleep. One study that observed antibody production in participants given a flu vaccination revealed the alarming consequences of poor sleep. The participants who did not have a uniform sleeping pattern produced 50% fewer antibodies. This result proves that poor sleep significantly affects your body’s immune response. Cutting out sleep puts you in a vulnerable position.
How To Increase Your REM Sleep
Getting your sleep cycle on track is the best gift you can give yourself.
Food: Having a healthy diet leads naturally to healthy sleep. Before going to bed, substitute products that contain caffeine or alcohol with water. Alcohol consumption makes it difficult to achieve REM sleep. If you want something warm before you lay down for the night, try non-caffeinated tea like ginger tea or chamomile.
Exercise: Inactivity during the day means that you will have a restless night’s sleep. You do not need to exhaust yourself in the gym. Doing a low-intensity exercise like walking for a short time is valuable. Try getting out of the house and go for a walk in the sun. It will put you in a good mood, and it will help you doze off when you hit the pillow.
Medication: The current medicines you use to manage a condition could be causing you to lose sleep. The recommended dosages may be too high.
At Innate, our doctors provide care that is designed around you. The team endeavors to find the right prescribed medicine to suit your specific needs, including improving sleep. Innate also specializes in managing patients’ digestive issues. We test diligently to discover the food intolerances that may stop you from having a full night’s rest.
Book a FREE consultation with us today.