Everyone knows that life seems more challenging when you can’t get enough sleep – but have you ever wondered why sleep is so important? Let us know from this article written by the best Bendigo naturopaths near me the effects and importance of sleep to our health.
Not only does sleep allow your body to rest and relax, but it also helps support: memory integration, brain development, cardiac function, metabolism, digestion, physical recovery, and tissue healing. It also helps to improve your immune system, memory, and your emotional state.
Sleep deficiency is linked with several chronic health problems. It has also been shown to increase the risk of you causing injury to yourself.
Getting enough, good quality sleep is important.
Circadian Rhythm: Importance of Sleep
One of your body’s best tools in preparing for sleep is the circadian rhythm, also known as the sleep-wake cycle. This cycle is tied into external cues that your body notices in the surrounding environment. The most important of which is the sun’s light/dark cycle. Other light sources, such as screens or house lights, can trick this cycle and cause disruptions leading to disrupted, poor quality sleep.
Consequences of Poor Sleep
If you have poor sleep that isn’t restorative, you’ll notice a few different things happening to you. It will be harder to work, and your work quality will be poor, your memory will be poor, it will be harder to learn things, and you will notice yourself fatiguing more easily throughout the day.
One of the things your body does while you are asleep is remove metabolic waste from your central nervous system. If it cannot do this, due to poor or insufficient sleep, it builds up and can lead to neurodegenerative disorders.
Sleep-wake disturbances also exacerbate chronic pain – via increased sensitisation – and other disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Some of the ways you might be able to help improve your sleep include through the use of supplements and herbs such as:
- Glycine: an amino acid that helps to support sleep and relaxation due to its action as a neuromodulator. It helps to improve sleep quality, reduce sleepiness and fatigue, as well as improving how easy it is to fall asleep.
- Magnesium citrate: a deficiency in magnesium is known to exacerbate stress, which in turn reduces sleep quality and quantity. Supplementation with magnesium helps to correct any deficiencies. It also helps to support the function of your circadian rhythm and the function of GABA – a neurotransmitter that helps initiate and maintain sleep.
- Lemon balm: this herb is a lovely support to the nervous system. It can help to reduce nervous tension and support you in falling asleep faster. It also helps to reduce anxiety and insomnia that may stem from anxiety.
- Ziziphus: this herb is often used in Chinese Medicine as well as Western Herbal Medicine. It helps to reduce anxiety, calm the mind, and improves both sleep quality and quantity.