In 2022, a lot of us recognise that it is more important than ever to look after our health. Our health is something we can sometimes take for granted, but it is essential to recognise the things that keep us well to live as healthy and as happy a life as possible.
There are so many factors we can work on to look after our health and wellbeing. Whether it’s working on our diet, engaging in exercise more often, or spending time doing the things which are meaningful for us. Each of these things can have a huge benefit on both our physical and mental health.
Another important factor for our overall health is our sleep. This article will talk through why sleep is so important for both our mental and physical health, and what things you can do to help promote good quality sleep.
There is still a lot we don’t know about sleep, but one thing we do know is that it’s good for us. Healthy sleep involves several things: It’s about how much sleep you get, the quality of sleep you achieve, and if our sleep schedule is consistent.
Research has found that irregular sleep patterns – such as working night shift – can have a negative effect on our health. Good sleep quality involves us having the opportunity to engage in all the important stages of sleep that help our bodies to repair and restore. This includes REM sleep and deep sleep which support with muscle repair and processing our emotions.
Many people view sleep as just a time for rest, but it is so much more than that. Your brain is busy doing all the essential things it needs to do to keep you healthy. It’s therefore imperative we make sleep a priority.
We all want a healthy brain, right? Without sleep, our brain health can be impacted. We need sleep for important brain functions, such as to be able to learn and or create new memories. This is because sleep helps us create neural pathways and supports how our neurons communicate with each other. Sleep also importantly removes toxins in your brain to keep it healthy for the next day.
Poor sleep quality is often linked to common mental health disorders, including depression. Research has found a connection between sleep problems and mental health disorders. It may not be exactly clear as to how the two are fully connected, but what we do know is that the connection is there.
Examples of this connection include sleep deprivation being linked to common stress hormones, such as cortisol. It has been found that poor sleep can contribute to negative thinking, which is a common symptom of depression. If we struggle to engage in REM sleep, it can also have a negative impact on our emotional health, as this stage of sleep helps us to process our emotions.
Sleep provides essential support to our immune system. A big part of deep sleep is that it helps our body to repair, including repair our immune system. Our immune systems ability to function well can be impacted by a lack of good quality sleep. If our immune system isn’t working efficiently, we are less likely to fight off infection, repair wounds, or fight off disease.
Now that you know how important sleep is for your health, here are a few ways you can improve it.
Have a hot bath: Having a hot bath around 2 hours before bed can be a really useful way to encourage sleep. This is because it is important for our body temperature to drop a few degrees in order for us to sleep. When we have a bath, this will help raise our body temperature. When we get out of the bath our body temperature will automatically drop, encouraging this natural process. This drop in temperature will help signal to your body that it is time for sleep.
Work on your routine: A great way to help support your body to achieve a healthy sleep pattern is to work on your routine. Going to sleep and waking at a similar time everyday helps regulate your biological sleep clock. This is what your body works from to know when it’s time to naturally wake or go to sleep. Changing your routine can confuse your body clock and so the more regular you get, the easier it is for your sleep clock to do its job.
Mindfulness and Meditation: To help further with your routine, you can engage in relaxing activities before bed to signal to your brain and body that it is time for sleep. Helpful activities to try are relaxing things that support your body to feel ready for sleep including mindfulness and meditation. Other options can include sitting calmly with a caffeine-free warm drink or stretching.
Here at Ely mattress, our passion is to create the very best natural mattresses to support you to achieve good quality sleep. We have created environmentally friendly mattresses with a whole range of health benefits. If you would like to learn more about our amazing mattresses and their benefits, feel free to check out our mattresses through our website.