We all know that sleep plays a largely important role in our health and our daily lives. Sometimes, we like to get that extra two hours of sleep on the weekends. Other days, we have to get up early for work or school. Then we have those days before a final exam or a presentation for the boss, and we pull an all-nighter to get everything in line for the next day’s showdown. Everyone has different sleep patterns and habits, but the one thing those patterns have in common is the effect they have on overall health.
But how much sleep do we need to stay healthy? Getting plenty of sleep helps our bodies function correctly — our immune systems stay stronger, and our levels of alertness reflect the rest we get. You can always get too little sleep; but you can never get enough sleep, right? Discover the effects that your sleep patterns have on you and your body, and find out just how much sleep is truly enough.
Sickness and Sleepless Nights
Multiple studies prove how directly in line your sleep patterns are with your health — especially when it comes to lack of sleep. So, before you pull another all-nighter to work on a project for school and work, you may want to consider the damage it does to your brain and body to lose so much sleep, and how you can boost your performance everyday by getting around eight hours of rest.
One study showed evidence that even just adding one hour of sleep to your pattern can greatly influence cognitive function and mental agility. One group of subjects slept for about six and a half hours per night for a week, while another group slept for seven and a half hours. The groups exchanged sleep patterns the following week. The results communicated that the group receiving less sleep experienced difficulty completing tasks that tested their mental agility, and showed genetic activities common with inflammation, risk of cancer, and diabetes.
Other symptoms related to sleep loss include anxiety problems, depression, cardiovascular disease and hypertension, and obesity. As your body looses sleep, your systems are forced to work harder and longer, which tires them and creates dysfunction in their natural processes. Sleep loss can also throw your hormone production out of whack, which can cause behavioral or emotional problems. Plus, the overtime that your immune system puts in makes it weaker at fighting viruses, bacteria, and other microbial life-forms that can make you sick. So, ensuring that you get enough sleep is of extremely high importance to maintain health.
Reassess Getting Too Much Rest
On the other hand, sleeping too much can hurt your health, too! Some people like to hibernate for more than eight hours a day, and this can cause some problems just as easily as not getting enough sleep each night. Check out how oversleeping really treats your body, and discover why you need to establish a routine schedule and amount of sleep.
A study performed on 2700 individuals measured the effects of sleeping for nine or more hours per night versus the effects of six to eight hours. The people who overslept made up around forty percent of all the subjects who participated in the study. The study lasted for three years, and revealed a more dramatic decline in cognitive function and capabilities for those getting more than eight ours of sleep per day. This form of impairment puts the individual at a greater risk for developing dementia.
Researchers assessed surveys performed on over a million Americans detailing the effects of not getting enough and receiving too much sleep over a period of about six to seven years. Those who averaged at about seven to eight hours per day had a lower death rate than the groups that slept too much or too little.
Perfect Patterns for Perfect Sleep
To ensure healthy sleep habits and to get plenty of fitful rest, there are a few tips to having sleep patterns and schedules set to improve and maintain your health. Professionals often refer to these methods as ‘sleep hygiene,’ and offer them as suggestions to help people build healthful sleeping schedules.
Having a bedtime routine can help your mind and body wind down before hitting the sack. Your brain will start to recognize these actions as precursors to sleep, and thus will respond by making your body sleepier. By scheduling a set time to go to bed and wake up, you adjust your body’s responses, and further your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. You can also do things like take a bath before bedtime, read for an hour before falling asleep, or write. These tasks allow your body time to relax before you hit the hay.
Avoid staring at the screens of televisions, computers, and cellphones. These electric appliances emit blue light, which can reset your brain’s light receptors and lower the amount of naturally occurring melatonin. This can cause your brain to think it is time to wake up, and can even cause you to awaken at random throughout the night. Turning off the tube an hour before falling asleep can ensure a fitful, scheduled rest.
Some of the habits you keep during your waking hours will also make or break your sleep patterns. If you find that naps keeps you from getting a full eight hours of rest, then avoid them. Short power naps can prove helpful at times, but making them a habit can irritate a full rest at night. Also, if you exercise daily, you will spend any excess energy that may keep you awake at night.
Avoiding large meals right before bed may also help your body rest easier and more fully. Eating about three hours before you fall asleep allows your meal to digest properly, so you can avoid any digestion issues that may disrupt your sleep pattern. You can also ensure better rest by staying away from caffeine during the latter part of the day. Caffeinated substances can disrupt your sleep schedule, and cause your body to maintain a wakeful energy.
Additionally, you can take some herbal supplements to help ensure your healthy sleeping patterns. Melatonin tablets, available at most grocery and drug stores, work naturally with your body to help you fall asleep. Take one or two an hour before your bedtime, and devote eight hours to rest. Melatonin helps your body fall asleep and stay asleep, as your body produces it naturally for resting functions.
Certain teas can help you hit the hay more easily as well. Chamomile and peppermint, especially when brewed together, offer a potent but gentle sleep remedy. Chamomile relieves anxiety, and peppermint relaxes the muscles, providing a powerful concoction that will help you fall asleep. Valerian root also helps out your sleep schedule.
Taking vitamin B-complex supplements in the morning as you wake up can provide your body with a boost of energy. This will help you wake up easier without drinking caffeinated beverages. Coenzyme Q10 also helps out in boosting your energy levels naturally, by inducing stronger stamina and tissue activity.
Fuel Your Sleep Schedule with Face Naturals
Face naturals can help you regulate your sleep schedule with our wide range of organic skin-care products. We have scented items that can help fuel your quest for a stable sleep schedule. Our line of lavender productswill help calm and relax you, as lavender is often used in aromatherapy to help calm a person’s senses. We also have scents that can help awaken your body!
You can also use our peppermint products to help wake you up in the morning. For a crisp, tingly feeling to awaken your skin, take a morning shower with the Peppermint Bar Soap. Or, take your morning shower with our wide variety of citrus products. Citrus scents awaken and energize your mind. So, say good morning to your skin with the Citrus Squeeze Body Cleanser, and follow up with Orange Creamsicle Body Lotion.
Your face naturals family is always looking for ways to help you improve your health — whether through our signature skin-care products, or through information designed to educate you on better ways to take care of yourself. If you know any other natural ways to help regulate a sleep cycle, we wanna know! Comment below to start a conversation with other readers. As always, we would love to hear from, so contact us with any questions or concerns. We look forward to hearing from you.