Sleep is the time for the body to heal and make repairs, especially to the brain. It’s why being sick makes you tired—your body has work to do! Research is still diving into the specifics in an attempt to find ideas for new treatments and medications. A lot of their findings reenforce what was already “known” as folk-knowledge. Make sure you’re getting a good night’s sleep with natural help from our Sleep Support Pack.
What are scientists seeing when they study sleep? In one example, researchers found that a part of our immune system becomes active when we sleep, and that our bodies begin work checking the brain and spinal cord for illness or injury and starting repairs. Stress (whether chronic or from a sleep disturbance which triggers the same panic and wake-up hormones) stops this process. All in one, it’s the reason we need sleep, the reason we need to sleep more when sick, and the reason not sleeping (as well as chronic stress or illness) is associated with brain illnesses like Alzheimer’s or early dementia.
While it’s been known that there’s a strong genetic component to how much sleep we need, the modern age is bringing scientists and outliers together. Research into those who can not just “get by” but feel well and rested on 6 or even 4 hours of sleep show that their bodies are working much more efficiently. Learning about how people on the low end of the sleep spectrum function may lead to treatments for those struggling with sleep and at risk for the consequences of sleep deprivation.
Here’s what you can do to control how much sleep you need:
-Set your brain up for success. Any extra light from a screen will send the wrong message to the brain, slowing the start of the hormones you need to signal sleep and the start of nighttime immune activity. Create a before bed ritual he skips phones, tablets, and TVs and instead relaxes the body and helps signal “sleep” (routine can help trigger the needed hormones).
-Do your part when you’re awake. All those healthy things you know you should be doing really are important. A healthy diet ensures the nutrients needed to repair and rebuild at night, while exercising helps the body work it’s best (it’s not just about being fit, you were made to move).
-When doctors say “rest and drink lots of fluids” it’s not just because there’s no other option for many illnesses. If you can start rest at the first sign of illness (like feeling a little froggy), you may be able to stop it, or at least heal faster. Your body needs sleep to repair, don’t fight off sleep, sleep and fight off illness!
Of course, some people will still struggle with sleep. And while many people sleep less as they age, it’s not because you are becoming more efficient and need less sleep, it’s often that the boyd needs a little more help functioning. Support your night with the right nutrients, minerals, and a few herbs known to help the process with our Sleep Support Pack.