The science of sleep is fascinating.
Sleep is, or at least should, be a part of our daily lives yet we’re just beginning to understand all of the ways it affects our health.
Lack of sleep can effect our mind and our body. People who get less sleep tend to be at higher risk for health issues like diabetes and heart disease not to mention effects like slower metabolism, weight gain, hormone imbalance and inflammation. Lack of sleep can effect our mood, our memory and decision-making skills.
And how well we sleep may also have a vital role in how well our body fights certain cancers. Studies have shown that sleeping irregularities may suppress our immune system decreasing our ability to fight cancer. As well, inadequate or irregular sleep can result in a deficiency of melatonin. Melatonin has been shown to have anti-proliferative effects in certain cancers like breast and colorectal cancers.
It is clear that getting a good night’s sleep needs to be a priority. As adults we should strive to get 7 – 9 hours of sleep per night.
Tips for better sleep
- The biggest tip is definitely to try to get yourself into a consistent sleep schedule. Make it a priority and you’re more likely to achieve it. Go to bed at the same time each evening. Get a routine going. It signals to your body that it’s sleep time.
- Balance your blood sugar throughout the day. Eat less refined and processed foods and more whole foods full of blood-sugar-balancing fiber. Make sure you’re getting some protein every time you eat.
- During the day get some sunshine and exercise. These things tell your body it’s daytime; time for being productive, active and alert. By doing this during the day it will help you wind down more easily in the evening.
- Sleep in a dark, cool room and keep your electronics out of the bedroom!
Make your bedroom a sanctuary. A place of peace and calm where you can retreat and sleep for your better health.