Be honest here… are you really getting enough sleep?
So many of us think we can “get away” with 5, MAYBE 6 hours per night… but it that enough to stay healthy?
Proper sleep is the foundation for a healthy and productive life. Memory consolidation, tissue repair, healing at the cellular level, brain and body detoxification… the list goes on and on. All of these are impacted by the quality and amount of sleep you get.
Poor sleep means you WON’T be able to show up 100% in all those “busy tasks” that seem to take priority over getting your zzz’s. But get enough QUALITY rest, and you’ll be performing better mentally and physically in everything else and maybe even getting MORE done in LESS time!
Get enough sleep, and you’ll be able to exercise better, absorb more from your organic produce and your green smoothies, get more out of those supplements and tools. Without it, you may be paying a lot for little return…
But first, you NEED to optimize your sleep environment!
Most people sleep in such a disturbed and sub-optimal sleep environment that I wonder if they’re getting even just 10 to 20% of the healing effects that sleep is supposed to provide.
Here are the 3 key aspects of cleaning your bedroom from the top sleep disruptors:
1) Make sure your bedroom is pitch black.
Blackout shades exist, but honestly most of them still let too much light into the room.
Consider using a sleep mask at all times.
If you think having just a little bit of light from that huge lamp post in your street doesn’t matter, consider this:
Using a special app on my smartphone, I calculated how much light (measured in “lux”) that was present in my bedroom when it’s almost complete darkness. I got a result of 4 lux.
Compare that to the full moon on a clear sky, which is 0.27 to 1 lux — and it’s easy to understand why most people sleep in an environment that’s seriously destroying their melatonin production and tricking their bodies into thinking it’s still not bedtime.
2) Eliminate all screen time 2 hours before bed.
I know it’s hard, but there’s an alternative if you still want to watch a movie or spend time on your phone — wear these blue-light-blocking orange glasses (search for UVEX on Amazon.com).
Avoiding any blue light starting when it’s almost dark outside will maximize your melatonin production at night, give you sound sleep, and you’ll naturally wake up right at sunrise!
(Bonus science: More melatonin = more antioxidant power = lower cancer risk)
3) Clean your bedroom of EMFs.
EMFs emitted from your smartphone and even from common electronics like alarm clocks are shown to impair your melatonin production, and even your ability to recover and heal at night.
To reduce EMFs in your bedroom, always make sure to:
– Put your smartphone or tablet in airplane mode.
– Set your wi-fi router on a timer so it shuts down between 11pm and 5am. Don’t worry — no one really needs to surf the web at night.
– Unplug all electronics from the walls. Use a battery-powered alarm clock.
– Even better: turn off the entire breaker of your bedroom.
– Even better STILL: hire an EMF consultant or building biologist to measure EMFs in your home.
The key takeaways are:
– Sleep at least 7 hours per night — unless you magically happen to be one of these lucky few who can get away with less (but you probably aren’t so get that sleep in!)
– Sleep in a pitch black room, or wear a sleep mask
– Avoid looking at electronics at least 2 hours before bed
– Remove all electronics from your bedroom, and reduce EMFs as much as possible
The final takeaway…
Getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis is very important for maintaining optimum health and vitality. Take proactive measures to ensure you sleep well every day.Lack of Sleep Puts Your Health at Risk
Research has shown that insufficient sleep and/or poor-quality sleep can increase your risk for:
Accidents at work and on the road
Getting less than six hours of sleep leaves you cognitively impaired. In 2013, drowsy drivers caused 72,000 car accidents in which 800 Americans were killed and 44,000 were injured. Even a single night of sleeping only four to six hours can impact your ability to think clearly the next day.
Getting less than seven hours of sleep per night has been shown to raise your risk of weight gain by increasing levels of appetite-inducing hormones.
One 2015 study linked “excessive daytime sleepiness” with a 56 percent increased risk for Type 2 diabetes.
More than half of people diagnosed with depression also struggle with insomnia. While it was long thought that insomnia was a symptom of depression, it now seems that insomnia may precede depression in some cases. About 70 percent of those with sleep apnea, whose sleep is repeatedly disrupted throughout the night, also tend to suffer from symptoms of depression.
Impaired memory formation and increased risk of memory loss
Sleep is essential not just for cementing events into long-term memory but also for making sense of your life. During sleep, your brain pulls together and extracts meaning, while discarding unimportant details. In fact, sleep increases your ability to gain insights that would otherwise remain elusive by about 250 percent.
So, during sleep, part of your brain is busy stabilizing, enhancing and integrating new memories. It’s also extracting rules, and the “gist” of what’s happening in your life. Reduced productivity at work and poor grades in school are other associated side effects of insufficient sleep. Creativity is also diminished.
Impaired sexual function
Sleep deprivation decreases your immune function, which can have a snowball effect, raising your risk for cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer, just to name a few. In the case of cancer, another critical mechanism involved is disrupted melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone with antioxidant and anticancer activity.
It both inhibits the proliferation of cancer cells and triggers cancer cell apoptosis (self-destruction). Melatonin also interferes with the new blood supply tumors required for their rapid growth (angiogenesis). A number of studies have shown that night shift workers are at heightened risk of cancer for this reason.