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Sleep Boosts Your Health

(with Sleep Trends to Watch)

Special Guest Blog

Ellie Porter Managing Editor | SleepHelp.orgellie@sleephelp.org

All it takes is one or two sleepless nights to realize how vital sleep is to your health. Yet, many people struggle to get the necessary seven to nine hours. Adequate sleep is part of maintaining your physical, mental, and emotional wellness. Today, there are more distractions and sleep disruptors than ever, but we also have a better understanding of why and how to get a better night’s rest. You can even enhance your sleep with some of the latest trends in the sleep industry and sleep technology.  

Sleeps Regulates and Boosts Physical, Mental, and Emotional Health

Physically, sleep opens the door to healing, recharging, and rejuvenating the body. The immune system stocks up the lymph nodes, muscles recovery from daily stress, and the brain cleanses itself of daily toxins. Many of these processes only take place during certain sleep phases. For example, muscle recovery primarily happens during the first of the deep sleep stages. If the body doesn’t spend enough time in this phase or if there’s an alteration to the timing of the sleep cycle, muscle recovery suffers. The same holds true for the body’s other systems. 

Mental and emotional health rely on sleep as well. Whenever you get less than seven hours of sleep, the brain changes how it functions. The emotional center becomes more sensitive to negative stimulation whether that be emotions, thoughts, or situations. The part of the brain that applies logic and reasoning to emotional responses becomes less active during this time too. Consequently, poor sleep often leads to increased aggression, sadness, and stress.

Mental health disorders like anxiety and depression are often accompanied by poor sleep. While there’s not yet a causal relationship to be found between these disorders and poor sleep, lack of sleep contributes to their development and intensifies their symptoms. 

Sleep Trends Worth Watching

The duration and quality of your sleep are impacted by your personal habits. Keeping a regular bedtime and bedtime routine are imperative for regulating the sleep cycle. Your sleep environment also becomes a factor. Both adults and children need a mattress that fully supports their body weight and caters to their preferred sleep position. The bedroom should also be kept, cool, dark, and quiet.

If you’re looking for some sleep helps, here are a few trends worth watching.

  • Non-wearable sleep trackers: Sleep trackers can give you a general idea of your sleep patterns. If you’re looking for something less invasive than a FitBit or similar device, non-wearable sleep trackers continue to grow in popularity. These devices sit next to the bed and monitor movement, creating a morning report sometimes includes sleep tips. 
  • Sleep coaches and consultants: Sleep consultants have been helping parents with their newborns for years, but they’ve extended their services to parents and beyond. They can help identify and implement sleep supportive diets, lifestyle changes, and environmental conditions. 
  • Weighted blankets: People with anxiety, ADHD, and autism often find weighted blankets a great sleep help. There’s not a significant body of scientific evidence supporting their benefits, but many find the extra weight feels like a hug at bedtime. 
  • Blue Light in a new light: You’ve probably heard of blue light’s ability to suppress sleep hormones. In general, it’s best to avoid it for a few hours before bed. However, when timed correctly, it can also help your sleep cycle. Bright light therapy, for example, exposes the body to blue spectrum light in the morning. This helps suppresses and regulates sleep hormones for the rest of the day. 
  • Meditation, relaxation, and sleep apps: Sleep help apps come in many forms. They can monitor your sleep and offer sleep tips while others lead you through meditation or relaxation exercises so you can sleep better. 

Conclusion

Better sleep gives your health a step forward. If you struggle with sleep, there are now new ways to address your specific issues. It might take some experimentation to find what works, but the effort cab reward you for years to come.