I have talked about several self-care options in previous blogs. I recently read a great article on sleep by Jennie Hastings and want to share some of her points on how important sleep is to your health.
Sleep is extremely important to our overall health. Many important physiological processes that heal and balance the body take place while we sleep. During sleep, the heart rate slows, respiration slows, and blood pressure drops. This slowdown takes pressure off the body, allowing it to rejuvenate.
Getting enough sleep also positively affects our relationships and mental state. People who are tired all the time are more prone to depression and irritability. When we get enough quality sleep, we feel better and this refects on the rest of our lives.
Not everyone needs the same amount of sleep, but for most, between 6 1/2 to 8 hours of sleep per night is needed to keep us in optimal health. The most common reason for disturbed sleep is an unsettled mind. When we are worried and stressed, our mind becomes too focused and can keep us up at night.
What can you do to support good sleep habits? The first thing is to get on a regular schedule. The body has an internal clock and thrives when we do routine things at about the same time each day. Physical exercise during the day is a great way to support sleep. Make sure your body has enough time to wind down before bed. Limit caffeine and try not to go to bed either very hungry or very full. Try to avoid too much contact with technology right before you go to sleep.
The quality of your sleep impacts the rest of your life. If you struggle with insomnia, or do not feel refreshed when you wake up, take some time to investigate the circumstances surrounding your sleep. Reach out for support from a health professional.
In good health,