“Sleep services all aspects of our body in one way or another: molecular, energy balance, as well as intellectual function, alertness and mood...affecting every tissue in our bodies...it affects growth and stress hormones, our immune system, appetite, breathing, blood pressure and cardiovascular health,” says Dr. Merrill Mitler, a sleep expert and neuroscientist at NIH.
So what are a few benefits of sleep:
Sharper Brain: When lack of rest hits that head, sleep deprivation can really effect both your learning and memory function. Impairing hight levels of reasoning, problem solving, and attention to detail.
Mood Boost: Chronic restlessness can be a major reason for mood disorders; increasing the possibility of depression, anxiety, and panic disorders.
Healthy Heart & Body: Sleep is an important attribute to the internal checks within our bodies - from giving your heart and blood vessels a break, repairing muscles, strengthening immune systems, to controlling appetite (leptin and ghrelin). Sleep is the time your body has the chance to reboot and rebalance to homeostasis - and good sleep can prevent many things from heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and infections.
So what is a good night sleep?
Consisting of 4 - 5 sleep cycle with a period of deep sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep within each cycle. Though sleep needs can very person to person, there are a few averages we should all shoot for.
Adult: 7 - 8 hours a day
Teenagers: 9 hours a day
Children: 10 hours a day
Babies: 16 hours a day
What disturb sleep?
Many things can disturb sleep cycles from stimulants (such as caffeine or other medications) to blue light devices (TV, cell phones, Tablets, florescent lights, LED, etc.)
Ways to better sleep:
Deep Breathing Techniques
Hot bath or Shower to relax muscles
Aromatherapy (calming essential oils such as lavender)
Switching devices from blue light to sleep mode.
Not eating before bed
Limiting caffeine/stimulates later in the day
Limit any naps to 1 hour and not to late into the evening
Turning on airplane mode before bed - this way your sleep pattern isn't disturbed by unnecessary noise.