“Sleep Care”: A Growing Trend for Better Slumber

Its importance is obvious, yet its attainment can be elusive. Whether you’re tossing and turning with racing thoughts or forcing yourself to stay awake to trudge through a task, sleep is all too often neglected.

At a time when mental health is top-of-mind, a growing movement known as “sleep care” is emerging. It encourages people to make smart decisions that increase the chance of having a sound, solid sleep.

Why good sleep is so important

Let’s face it: a bad night’s sleep will likely lead to irritability the next day. Your mind is foggy, you feel lethargic, and minor irritants can be amplified. In short, you’re not at peak productivity.

But beyond one bad night, poor sleep (especially if it’s ongoing) can lead to a whole host of physical and mental problems.

Dr. Merrill Mitler, a sleep expert and neuroscientist, breaks down the impact good sleep has on all facets of the body in a National Institutes of Health article via the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“Sleep services all aspects of our body in one way or another: molecular, energy, balance, as well as intellectual function, alertness, and mood,” says Mitler.

On the flip side, chronic sleep deficiency can lead to a number of consequences, some of which might creep in over time. For example, research is showing a correlation between sleep deprivation and cardiovascular conditions, heart disease, obesity, and infections.

Where ‘sleep care’ comes in

While our body clocks might not always work with our desire to sleep, there are small steps you can take to help increase the likelihood of regular solid sack time.

Establishing a routine is one of the most fundamental steps for quality sleep. Getting up in the morning and going to bed at the same time each day makes sleep a much more attainable goal.

If your mind is filled with anxious thoughts, writing them down is a way to free up your mind. Journaling is frequently cited as a therapeutic means for unloading troubling emotions — but even just a small bedside notebook to write down those things you need to remember for tomorrow can help you close your eyes.

Some sleep care experts also recommend other simple techniques, such as gazing at the sunset each night. Our bodies have circadian rhythms that mirror day/night. When the sun sets, our bodies produce the hormone known as melatonin, which helps us feel sleepy.

Tech has some tools to help with sleep as well

While there have been a number of gadgets to help restless sleepers, the proliferation in product offerings has grown.

Dodow is one such device. It’s tailored around one of the most important tenants of sound sleep: breathing. The product is pitched as a mechanism to help users achieve more steady sleep each night by gradually slowing down breathing patterns with longer exhales and shorter inhales.

For people seeking a deeper understanding of sleep cycles and whether they’re being attained each night, the Oura Ring is an option. The smart device offers users a “sleep score” after monitoring the amount of time spent each night in the three major sleep stages: light, deep, and rapid-eye-movement.

We might live in a society that places a premium on productivity, but Dr. Mitler offers some food for thought on the beauty of a good night’s sleep.

“The fact is, when we look at well-rested people, they’re operating at a different level than people trying to get by on one or two hours less nightly sleep.”

-Dave Fidlin

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Other Posts You Might Like

0 comments on ““Sleep Care”: A Growing Trend for Better Slumber

Leave a Reply (and please be kind!)