“Insomnia is a glamorous term for thoughts you forgot to have in the day.” — Alain de Botton
Sleep is easy for some, elusive for others and until recently, a mystery to science.
We knew that sleep was essential and that it was a form of torture to go without, but we didn’t know why.
There is still more to learn but we now know that our time spent sleeping is a time of great repair for our body, particularly our brain and our glymphatic system (waste clearance in the brain & CNS).
The correct amount of restorative sleep has many physiological benefits including promoting good mental health, a healthy weight, & supporting immune health!
Not everyone needs the same amount of sleep, but a general consensus is around 7-9 hours each night. Those getting less than 6 hours or needing more than 10 hours should get evaluated for potential medical issues contributing to their hypo/hypersomnia.
The timing of sleep also matters and is part of each individual’s “circadian rhythm” which is your 24-hour daily wake/sleep cycle. There is no exact right answer but sleeping from 10 pm – 6 am is an excellent goal to shoot for, or even 11 pm – 7 am.
Whatever your circadian rhythm may be, striving to be done eating 2-3 hours before bedtime, getting to bed as early before midnight as possible, and having deep sleep from 2-4 am is ideal.
That 2-4 am window is when we make the most amount of natural opioids and we know that the amount of opioids in our body has a direct relationship to our neuroimmune health.
This can be very challenging for shift workers. Adaptations can be made but there are increased health risks with missing sleep during the night.
Why do we miss sleep? Everyone is unique but here are some common reasons:
• Searching for solitude – often an exhausted mom might stay up late just craving an hour of quiet
• Procrastination – stress for the next day and avoidance, having too much work
• Insomnia – challenges to fall asleep ranging from physical to psychological
• Overstimulated – eating too late, watching Netflix, scrolling on the phone, addictions or substance use
• Pain – unresolved chronic pain can keep you up at night, along with acid reflux, restless leg syndrome, etc
• Lifestyle habits -not using wind-down activities, nor taming worry & runaway thoughts, maybe food is used for comfort or lack of activity during the day
Body Love Cafe is running a free 30-Day Sleep Bootcamp from June 13-July 12 and all are welcome!
We will give you a “Sleep Contract” which will allow you to decide what you want to accomplish during the month and then use the free program to help with accountability.
We will educate you regarding wise Sleep Hygiene methods plus share tips and tricks you may utilize at home.
We will have a range of daily videos ranging from sharing helpful health information to fun nighttime wind-down activities.
Sign-up at https://BodyLoveCafe.com/classes
By Dr. Brandy Zachary, DC, AFMCP with Body Love Cafe