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by Vanessa Boon, Physiotherapist
Do you wake up tired and sluggish each morning?
Are you struggling to get your 8 hours each night?
Our Physio, Vanessa gives your her top tips for a good night’s sleep.
The importance of sleep – 3 reasons why sleep is so important
1. Cell Generation
Our brain rewrites itself while we are asleep. Think of sleep like our body’s daily biological maintenance, it is when most of our cell repair is done. While we are asleep, our skin cells regenerate along with our brain cells, it strengthens our memory and preserves the information on processed during the day.
2. Strengthening of your immune system
Poor sleep = weaker immune system. Good sleep = stronger immune system. Your immune system regenerates and strengthens itself while you sleep. In simple terms, good sleep puts your body in a better position to fight off diseases and infections. Besides that, poor quality sleep directly affects your body’s production of antibodies. Reduce your risk of getting a good night’s sleep!
3. Mood regulation
Your quality of sleep directly affects the quality of your daily life along with your mental and physical health. Without sufficient sleep, your brain does not have enough energy to regulate your mood and process emotional information. Sleep detoxes your body… quite literally!
Creating your ideal sleeping environment
- Invest in a mattress that is suited to you (weather you are a back, side or front sleeper)
- Temperature: whether you like it warmer or cooler pick what makes your feel the most comfortable (I would go for something cooler especially in this weather!)
- Black out your room, keep it nice and dark when it is time to get some shut eye
- Block out unwanted noise
Work with your body clock, not against
- Practice good sleep hygiene (create a routine where you wake up and sleep around the same time daily)
- Listen to your body (if you feel tired, go to bed. If you don’t, do something else for half an hour or so, try reading a book)
- Bask in the sun (getting some vitamin D in the morning helps set your body clock)
The need for sleep – amount of sleep you need
Contrary to popular belief that the older we get the lesser sleep we need, we in fact actually require at least 7 hours. Adults require around 7 – 9 hours of sleep while children require a few more. Bottom line, if you want to be healthy, chronic pain free and generally more productive, get some good quality SLEEP! For those that find it hard to get the minimum 7 hours of sleep, here are some tips to improve sleep quality: