We know we're supposed to get our beauty sleep every night. But we all live such busy lives and when we have to juggle sleep, a social life, a full-time job, and trying to balance a healthy, active lifestyle somewhere in there, more times than not it's our Zs that get the boot.
In fact, the CDC proved that over a third of Americans don't get adequate sleep for their health. How important is sleep, though? And how much is enough? We're diving into all things sleep-related and how it affects our health both physically and mentally.
Sleep is vital.
Just as we need oxygen, food, and water, sleep is equally as crucial to our health and survival. The difference is, we would never claim to be "too busy" to breathe or drink water when we're thirsty. So, why is it that we take pride in being too busy to sleep as a status symbol when it is just as detrimental to our bodies as skipping meals or holding our breath?
Society has created a very serious problem by demanding so much work, play, and general time-spent doing from us as humans, creating a stigma that "sleep is for the weak." More like sleep creates the weak. We are experiencing an awakening in this health and wellness movement and slowing realizing the impact of this mindset on our bodies and brains. It is our job to turn this around and encourage restfulness, not a busy schedule.
What happens when we don't get enough sleep?
From your immune system function to your appetite, to your heart, hormone, and mental health, the amount of rest your body gets has a direct impact. While you are sleeping, your body is able to perform a self-evaluation and ensure all systems get the restoration needed.
During this time, it resets and restores muscles and cells, heals and repairs areas of the body that are in need, and "cleans house" by clearing away toxins (both physically and mentally) that may otherwise cause problems in the body's optimal function. Skipping out on this nightly reboot could be detrimental to your well-being and start to interfere with your body's ability to fight off illnesses, increase risk of more serious diseases, induce chronic brain fog, and promote weight gain and compromised skin.
How to prioritize rest.
1. Turn off your smartphone (or put it away) one hour before you go to bed giving your brain time to relax and shut down for the day. Try a caffeine-free herbal tea and reading a book in bed to slow your brain waves and energy level.
2. Create a sleep sanctuary out of your bedroom. This means putting a little extra effort into this room in your house. Try adding elements like plush, cozy bedding, essential oils, and plants!
3. Eat dinner earlier. Eating a big, heavy dinner right before bed puts enormous strain on your digestive system, putting it to work when your whole body is trying to rest. This takes away from restful sleep and restoration because your energy is now focusing on digestion instead of healing and repair.
4. Try incorporating pre-bedtime yoga stretches into your nighttime routine to help wind-down the mind and body. This will help promote a deep, restful sleep all night long to get the most out of your shut-eye!
Help change the mindset of sleep, starting with YOU! Shop for holistic solutions to assist your body's ability to achieve the most adequate sleep possible.