Around one in three Australians suffer from a mild form of insomnia.
Considering that sleep is integral to our overall health, this is a scary statistic, and put simply, if you’re not getting enough quality zzzs every night, you’re likely compromising your health. We always bang on about the importance of a healthy diet, but what if we told you that sleep is the most important factor when it comes to optimal health and wellness?
Sleep impacts on your brain function – for better or worse.
Getting quality sleep each night is vital for your brain health. While you sleep, your brain is hard at work forging new pathways, which directly impacts your ability to learn and recall information. As you sleep, the brain repairs itself and flushes out any excess “rubbish” that has built up. The toxins that build up in the brain are also linked to neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, so it’s imperative that they’re cleared away.
Studies have also shown that sleep deficiency can wreak havoc with your decision-making skills, as well as your ability to solve problems, control your behavior and successfully cope with change. Those who miss out on quality sleep are often less productive during their waking hours, have a slower reaction time, make more mistakes and take longer to complete tasks. Yikes!
Sleep impacts your physical health.
Lack of sleep can also has severe ramifications for your physical health. Poor sleeping patterns have been linked to an increased risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, stroke, and obesity. Sleep deficiency increases the risk of obesity too as it interrupts the hormones that control your appetite. When you have poor sleep, your level of ghrelin –the hormone which makes you feel hungry – increases and leptin – the hormone which signals that you’re full – decreases. A sleepless night has also been linked to an increase in junk food cravings! When the brain becomes impaired from lack of sleep, high-calorie foods become much more desirable.
Detox your bedroom to improve your sleep health.
Your bedroom should be your sanctuary, away from the daily grind. Considering that we spend about a third of our lives asleep, it’s important to make sure your environment is conducive to restful sleep as possible.
1. Wash your linen.
Your bedding is most likely crawling with all manner of germs, bugs, bacteria, dust and your own dead skin cells, so it’s important to wash your sheets and pillow cases weekly (yep, weekly!) in order to keep them fresh and clean. To help keep your bedding fresher for longer, try to shower before you hop into bed, regularly wash your pyjamas and try to avoid eating in bed.
2. Swap for non-toxic cleaners.
Using chemically loaded cleaners and air fresheners in your bedroom adds toxicity to the air. As studies have shown that long-term exposure to air pollution can cause disrupted sleep, it’s important to only use natural products in your bedroom.
3. Ditch technology.
Make sure you keep technology to a minimum in your bedroom as it can interfere with your sleep! Not only does technology make it hard to switch off, but electronic devices also emit a blue light which negatively impacts on your production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Not ideal.
4. Dust your room.
As much as possible, it’s important to keep your room free from dust. Allergies, including runny noses, itchy eyes, and coughing, as well as asthma symptoms, can all be linked to dust. These reactions can greatly affect your sleep quality so make sure you vacuum your room regularly and wipe down all surfaces with a damp cloth.
5. Introduce greenery.
Not only do indoor plants look pretty, but they positively impact on the air quality in your bedroom too. Detoxing your room by adding greenery to your space is a cost-effective way to filter out any airborne chemicals that are present.
Got any tips on how to promote restful sleep? Let us know in the comments below…