Have you ever been asked if you're feeling a little run down? We're humans, but sometimes we run ourselves like we're battery operated! If you're sleep has taken a turn, and you're feeling a little worse for wear, it might be time for a recharge.
Sleep and our physical health go hand-in-hand. Get your zzz's and your body will thank you.
We all know a good night’s rest helps us to feel refreshed and energised for the day ahead but we may not have stopped to wonder why. What actually happens to our body when we sleep?
We're here to tell you! When you sleep, your body rests, rejuvenates, and recovers - it's as simple as waking up with your body is functioning at it's best! If we don’t allow our bodies to rest, the symptoms of sleep deprivation (and decline in our physical functioning) wreak havoc on our lives!
SLEEP FACT! We need sleep to thrive and be at our optimum physical health and functioning. Lack of sleep modifies our gene activity, decreasing immune function and increasing inflammation. This is linked directly to bowel, breast and prostate cancer.
Benefits Of Sleep For Your Body
1. Sleep and Immunity
Put simply, the sleep we get directly impacts how well our immune system functions. Sleep is proven to be a natural immune booster! Sleep improves immune cells known as T cells. To break it down, T cells are a type of immune cell that fight illnesses. If you decreased your sleep time by 4 hours, your T cells will experience a 70% drop in activity - or 70% less immunity! As immunity goes down, inflammation goes up: that's a losing combination.
2. Sleep and Cardiovascular Health
When we don’t get enough sleep, our blood pressure increases, meaning we're more at risk for heart disease or alternative health issues such as a stroke. While sleeping, our blood pressure lowers, promoting a healthy heart that functions normally. If a healthy sleep schedule can decrease our risk of developing coronary heart disease, or suffering health episodes - Sign. Us. Up!
3. Sleep and Weight Management
Poor sleep has us reaching for the sugary treats! It's a fact. But there's actually a biological reason good sleep helps us to regulate weight. Good sleep decreases our risk of obesity and helps to support a healthy weight. During sleep, our bodies produce hormones such as Ghrelin and Leptin. Ghrelin makes us feel hungry, and leptin makes us feel full. Without enough sleep these hormones are thrown out of whack and our Ghrelin production increases whilst our Leptin production decreases... Cue the overeating and impulse food buying!
5 Ways You Can Boost Your Sleep TODAY
- Get 10 minutes of natural sunlight first thing in the morning to set your Circadian Rhythm.
- Avoid caffeine after 2pm so it's out of our bloodstream by bed-time.
- Do 30 minutes of exercise (or stretch it out before bed) to burn excess energy and release hormones you need for a good night's sleep.
- Snack on nuts or other high Tryptophan foods throughout the day such as cherries and berries to boost your snooze.
- Avoid blue-light exposure leading up to bed, as this disrupts your circadian rhythm, keeping you awake through the night.
It's the small simple changes that make all the difference when it comes to sleep! Get ready to feel the benefits of a great night's rest and harness your superpower that is sleep!