According to the largest consumer sleep study, ResMed has found that 79% of Americans are getting less than the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Regardless of how much you take care of yourself during the day, if you don’t sleep enough, you’ll never be able to obtain optimum health. Now is a better time than ever to begin regulating and resetting your sleep habits.
How Much Sleep is Enough Sleep?
Most professionals recommend 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Unfortunately, the ResMed study only found that 21% of the population partakes in the recommendation. Sleep is crucial to our wellbeing as it enables our bodies to detoxify and recover. Quality sleep leads to increased immune function. This meaning our T-Cells are at optimal protecting and fighting levels. Quality sleep also leads to better identification of antigens and increased mental alertness. Not to mention allows for increased energy wellbeing, and it facilitates the maintenance of a healthy weight.
Despite study after study showing the risks and side effects of too little sleep, disrupted sleep patterns are still widely accepted. It’s important to note that those in the study who slept less than seven hours experienced more detrimental health and weight issues than those who slept more than seven hours.
How to Get Quality Sleep?
Getting any old sleep doesn’t cut it. Waking in the middle of the night for any reason can disrupt sleep. A night of tossing and turning will also impact the normal circadian rhythms of the body. This is why when referring to sleep, we need to focus on the quality of it.
Our body flows in a natural rhythm of processes. Every cell has its own beat under the master rhythm of the brain. Circadian rhythm is the process of synching these systems so that all our processes work together. This internal “clock” of sorts is tuned into our environment and surroundings. Light especially plays a factor in the body’s circadian rhythm. As the sun goes down, our pineal gland is stimulated to release melatonin to start preparing the body for bed.
Things like stress, environment, nutrition, hydration, and other factors can also affect these processes, which is why it’s time to focus on solidifying your sleep habits.
Sleep as a Detoxifier
While social media ads for detoxifying teas may have you convinced otherwise, it’s important to remember that sleep is another avenue in which the body detoxifies. Our body also produces and regulates hormones during those hours of slumber. During the night, the body slows down and resets. This is the primary time when short term memory converts into long term memory, our organs reset, and the autonomic nervous system slows down. Think of it as our “house cleaning” time. This is the time when the body identifies and destroys bad cells and utilizes Human Growth Hormone to repair cells and systems.
A study done by the University of Rochester Medical Center shows that the brain has different functional states when asleep versus when it’s awake. The restorative nature of sleep appears to be the result of the active clearance of the by-products of neural activity that accumulate during wakefulness. The lymphatic system clears away toxins or waste products that could be responsible for brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and other neurological disorders.
As we mentioned, sleep is also a time for hormone regulation. According to the National Institute for Health, we release specific hormones when we sleep which control the following:
- Glucose regulation
- Appetite control
- Neuroendocrine function
- Cortisol release throughout the day
- Insulin sensitivity
- Levels of ghrelin
- Levels of leptin
- Release and regulation of Human Growth Hormone
Disruption of sleep leads to the disruption of hormone regulation. The instability may lead to wavering blood sugar levels, weight gain, inability to recover, mood issues, heart stress, and general feelings of unwellness.
Optimal Sleep Habits
There are a few things you can do to help yourself create optimal sleep habits to get the best quality sleep you can. These things include:
- Having a regular bedtime and sticking to it
- Setting the mood and environment for your sleep space
- Being conscious of when and what your last meal of the day is
- Finding rituals to calm yourself before bed such as meditating or praying
- Dim the lights and shut down screen time
- Use supplements if necessary
Nutritional Frontiers Melatonin Spray
At Zock Family Chiropractic, we often suggest patients supplement with Nutritional Frontiers products. This week we want to support the Melatonin Spray product:
“Melatonin Spray from Seroyal is an oral spray with a natural spearmint flavor. It seeks to support healthy sleep and maintain normal circadian rhythms. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland that is released at night. It supports the body’s natural sleep and wake cycle and also helps your body adjust after travel. Melatonin is often taken as a supplement to support sleep, and this convenient oral spray is perfect for on-the-go support.
Seroyal’s melatonin spray contains 3 mg of melatonin per serving and works to support a healthy sleep cycle. It also works to support healthy sleep quality, and also may offer support for your natural sleep/wake cycle.”
Chiropractic Care and Sleep Habits
Chiropractic care and wellness adjustments will help you get the sleep you need. It also improves the blood flow in the nervous system and it corrects any misalignments in the spine. These misalignments compress the nerves and cause a lack of communication between the spine and the brain. This can lead to a stress response which puts the body out of balance. Luckily, this can be easily treated with chiropractic care.
Regular chiropractic care help with things such as back pain, breathing problems, and restless leg syndrome during the night. Make an appointment today to schedule an introductory chiropractic session. We can discuss your pains and needs as part of my initial chiropractic workup for you as a new patient to our practice!
* This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please contact a medical professional for advice.