Don’t skimp on sleep — for the sake of your health, read more on the importance of sleep.
We’ve all woken up after a bad night’s sleep feeling awful, and if you are not making good sleep a priority, the chances are you are feeling the impact on a daily basis. Experts advise that adults between the ages of 18- and 60 years old sleep for at least seven hours every night. Without enough sleep, the risk of sleep deprivation becomes a reality, and with that comes a range of issues that affect overall wellness. So, why exactly is sleep so important? And what can you do to ensure proper rest?
SLEEP IS GOOD FOR YOU
You might think that you can function on minimal shut-eye, but the reality is that sleep actually plays an important restorative role. Every time you sleep, your body repairs and rebuilds, ridding itself of debris from the lymphatic system and strengthening the immune system. In fact, a number of very important processes — including muscle repair and tissue growth — occur during sleep, too.
Sleep also helps to relieve stress — sleep deprivation raises our cortisol levels and can even lead to hormonal imbalance and systemic inflammation. On the other hand, being well-rested helps with mood regulation and makes it easier to concentrate and make decisions.
PROTECT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
Sleep deprivation may be a contributing factor to a number of mental health problems. In fact, sleep-related problems are a common concern for those who suffer from mental illness and disrupted sleep is often a symptom or consequence of mental health disorders.
Insomnia is the most common sleep problem related to poor mental health. The issue, which is often caused by stress, poor sleep habits, nighttime screen use and excessive consumption of alcohol or caffeine, often leads to daytime sleepiness and poor daytime functioning, as well as irritability, anxiety and depression.
MAINTAIN A HEALTHY BODY WEIGHT
Sleep deprivation wreaks havoc on our hormones, including those that regulate hunger and appetite. Leptin (the hormone that suppresses appetite) and ghrelin (the hormone that triggers hunger) are both affected by a lack of sleep — leptin decreases while ghrelin increases.
On top of these hormonal changes, we are also more likely to make unhealthy choices when we are tired. You might feel less inclined to stick to your exercise regime when you’re low on energy, for example, or to opt for junk food over a home-cooked meal. Over time, chronic fatigue often leads to weight gain along with other issues associated with a high BMI.
ESTABLISH A ROUTINE
If good-quality sleep is a struggle for you, a good starting point is to get into a good bedtime routine. This means going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time in the morning. While you might be tempted to sleep in after a bad night, the reality is that our bodies thrive on regulation. Sleeping in often can leave you feeling tired and worn out.
Along with a regular bedtime, it’s also a good idea to create an environment conducive to sleep. Ideally, your bedroom should be cool — most experts recommend a temperature between 15 and 19 degrees. Try to go to bed relaxed so your core temperature is low and your heart rate drops. One way to do so is to practice yoga before bedtime — a few simple poses can help to calm the nervous system and take your mind off the events of the day.
Set the mood for a good night’s rest
1. BIOMEDCAN CBD SLEEP CAPSULES
A natural solution of CBD, herbs and minerals to assist in an improved, faster and deeper sleeping pattern. Zero THC included. 30 capsules | R489.95
2. NUUN HYDRATION REST
Restore your electrolytes after a strenuous, stressful day with these effervescent tablets. It helps to ease stress and promote restful sleep. Plant-based ingredients and very low in sugar. 10 tablets | R130
3. SOIL ORGANIC ESSENTIAL OIL – SLEEP
The SoiL Organic Sleep blend includes soothing herbal extracts with mild sedative effects. Lavender, marjoram and bergamot can all assist with getting a peaceful sleep. 10ml | R159
4. COMFY SLEEPWEAR FROM N3YH
There is nothing better than getting home after a long day’s work and slipping into something more comfortable like these fashion-forward, luxe sleepwear sets. R1 600 per set.
5. SLOOM’s CAPE TOWN KING MATTRESS – the biggest bed in South Africa!
Dubbed the ‘biggest bed in South Africa’ at 2.14m in width and 2m in length, the Cape Town King bed is as luxurious, and it is comfortable – needless to say, the whole family can climb in on frosty winter mornings. The bed has customisable memory foam comfort layers that can be arranged by firmness preference – per side – soft to extra firm.
R16 000 for the Cape Town King Mattress.