More than 70% of adults in America aren’t. We might find it in short supply these days between juggling work, errands, and other daily activities but lack of sleep can lead to life-threatening complications. Sleep is an important part of total well-being and is also the key to staying young.
Everyone over the age of 18 should aim for at least 7 hours of sleep a night. Anything past 9 hours is generally considered “oversleeping” and might be a sign of an underlying health issue. In 2009, research conducted by the University of California, San Francisco found a sleep gene present in about 3% of the population that allows an individual to function well on only 6 hours of sleep. The DEC2 gene primarily regulates the production of orexin, a hormone responsible for our wakefulness. Those with narcolepsy, a chronic sleep disorder characterized by daytime drowsiness and sudden sleeping, often show low orexin levels. Orexin production also leads to the production of natural cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, that help affect mood, digestion, and the immune system. If you don’t think you have the gene, try to get at least 7 hours to stay on the safe side.
A lack of sleep can impair brain activity, increase cortisol production, and lead to increased risk for strokes, heart disease and even Alzheimer’s. When we don’t get enough sleep it's harder to make decisions and our reaction time is reduced. This can pose problems in professional life and while driving. Cortisol, the stress hormone, not only dampens a mood, but it also breaks down collagen in the body. Collagen keeps our skin looking youthful, “beauty sleep” is key in keeping the skin from sagging.
Getting enough sleep is probably the best thing you can do for your health. Sometimes it’s hard to fall asleep and stay asleep so here are some tips to try:
- Lower the room temperature: Your body temperature falls when you sleep. Research shows that you can signal sleep by reducing room temperature in a range of 75-60 Degrees.
- Daily Exercise: It doesn’t need to be anything too vigorous, moderate exercise in the morning can significantly improve quality of sleep.
- Relaxing Music: Binaural beats like these are helpful in relaxing the mind for sleep: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6EM8LUln6KIu4SYP6KtDzJ
- Electronics: The stimulation from electronics already has a slight hold on the amount of sleep we get per night, but the blue light on our phones is even worse. Try to have a free hour from electronics before going to sleep, and, if you can, use night mode on your phone. It may turn on a yellow light that promotes sleep.
- Aromatherapy: Lavender, Peppermint, and Bergamot essential oils are scents that can help when falling asleep
- Quanta Muscle Rub: Our customers have found that Quanta Muscle Rub applied to the bottom of the feet helps with falling and staying asleep. This could be due to reflexology, the lavender, thermoregulation in the feet, or simply the CBD, whatever you want to chalk it up to, this works.
Sleep is a beautiful thing and waking up well-rested can really impact your day. Getting enough sleep can keep you sharp and alert, keep your skin youthful, and reduce risks for serious health problems down the line. Do yourself a favor, and get some sleep!