Unlock the Power of Sleep: Benefits You Need to Know

Mindfulness meditation

Why is Sleep so Important? 

Understanding the power of sleep is key to understanding our health. Sleep is more powerful than any drug in its ability to restore and rejuvenate the human brain and body. The benefits of getting quality sleep are undeniable. It impacts our health and well-being, impacting us physically, mentally, and emotionally. It’s not just about feeling rested; it’s about supporting our cognitive function, helping us concentrate, be more productive, and perform better. Sleep also plays a huge role in how we feel emotionally, influencing our mood and stress levels. It’s like giving our immune system a boost, helping us fight off illnesses.

We all struggle with insomnia at some point in our lives. Some of us can’t fall asleep at night, while others wake up every few hours and can’t get back to sleep. And then there are those unlucky souls who struggle with both. What we know is that sleep is one of the keys to a healthy life.

Insomnia and Sleep Deprivation: What You Need to Know

Sleep deprivation affects how we think and feel throughout the day. “All it takes is three consecutive nights of sleep loss to cause our mental and physical well-being to greatly deteriorate.”* Our emotional state may feel wacky, anxious or dysregulated and our central nervous system, jumpy or jittery. And as this Integrative Medicine for Insomnia study outlines, “chronic sleep dysfunction is associated with a variety of deleterious health outcomes,” such as heart disease and diabetes as well as impaired mood and cognitive function.”

Prolonged insomnia also affects our hormones, circadian rhythms, hunger cycles, and can weaken our immune systems. Some central nervous disorders cause sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder, where a person stops breathing for a few seconds while asleep. Studies have cited stress as a leading cause of chronic insomnia. A good night’s rest starts with transitioning from overstimulating and stressful activities like work and screen time, including scrolling social media before bed, to rest and restoration. 

How Mindfulness Can Help You Sleep Better

Timing plays a significant role in sound sleep. At Ha.Lé, we’re big believers in the value of mindfulness and pausing. Five to ten minute power naps can be true change agents. Our Latin friends figured this out; taking a siesta adds quality to our days, not to mention our lives. Finding time for rest and even deep breathing in a quiet spot such as this Summer Stress Relief Meditation replenishes and refreshes. 

Slowing down after a fast-paced day gives our bodies time to reset and prepare for sleep. Limiting activities that turn up the volume on our nervous system after 6 pm and adding gentle movement like an evening stroll or gentle yoga helps with the winding down process. Activating the rest phase on a repeat cycle helps establish good habits and supports our long-term sleep patterns.

Good sleep hygiene is the golden thread that weaves the function of our bodies and minds together.

 

Zhou ES, Gardiner P, Bertisch SM. Integrative Medicine for Insomnia. Med Clin North Am. 2017 Sep;101(5):865-879. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2017.04.005. Epub 2017 June 20. PMID: 28802468.

*Lee, Soomi Lee. “Drama Llama or Sleep Deprived? New Study Uncovers How Consistent Sleep Loss Impacts Mental and Physical Well-Being.” I USF News, 6 July 2021.

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Ha.Lé Integrative is a holistic wellness practice, serving the greater Midtown area of Nashville, TN. Click here to learn about our services.

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