Are you getting enough sleep? We explore the health and wellbeing benefits of a good nights rest
We cannot stress enough how important sleep is, for your overall health and wellbeing. Not only will you feel great in the mornings (and all day!), there’s a whole host of mental and physical health benefits that come arm in arm with a good nights rest. And we all know that feeling of waking up after a good or even adequate nights sleep is just divine!
The WHO recommendations for optimal sleep
School age – 6-13 year olds – 9-11 hours.
Teens – 14-17 years – 8-10 hours.
Adults (18+) – 7-9 hours.
When you fall asleep, it allows your body to heal in a way that is totally unique. Read on for some of the many ways good sleep can positively affect your life.
- The brain is freed up and able to trigger the release of hormones that encourage tissue growth to repair blood vessels. This helps wounds to heal faster but also restores sore or damaged muscles.
- Improves your immune system, which releases a type of small protein called cytokines. If you’re unwell or injured, cytokines help your body to fight inflammation, infection and trauma.
- Helps to maintain a healthy weight
- Helps to lower your risk of serious health problems like heart disease and diabetes. Blood pressure and activation of the sympathetic nervous system have been linked. Since sleep allows your SNS to relax, this has a positive affect on your heart health.
- Reduces stress, since your levels of cortisol (stress hormone) decrease during the first few hours of sleep.
- Improves your mood and relationships, giving you a dose of increased patience and empathy!
- Allows you to think and process more clearly, without an ounce of coffee!!
At ESO, we recommend magnesium supplements to our patients to help them switch off from their busy day and allow their muscles to begin to relax. Do you struggle to wind down in the evenings?
You might also like to try the following, to ease you into a peaceful nights rest
- Turn your phone off at an agreed (with yourself!) time in the evening
- Read a chapter of a good book before bed
- Light a candle, turn down the lights to avoid blue/bright lights which stimulate your brain
- Take a bubble bath
- Snuggle up with a hot water bottle and a herbal tea
Make evenings and sleep a time you look forward to. Soak up all the benefits of a good nights sleep and see how it feels. As the saying goes, nothing looks as good on you as sleep does!