At the North Carolina School of Advanced Bodywork, one of my instructors said, when asked the question of the perfect sleeping position, ‘I don’t care if you have to sleep upside down, with an arm sticking out. A good night’s sleep trumps all!’. I’ve always remembered that. Research shows that a good night’s sleep improves cognitive function (improved memory), boosts the immune system, boosts performance whether at work or at play, strengthens the heart, and can prevent weight gain! This is just a small list of great benefits. This is why I say that Sleep is King!
I found a surprising statistic while doing research for this article from the CDC – there is a higher percentage of Americans in the southeast that are sleep deprived. Unfortunately, part of this statistic is true because there is a higher prevalence of obesity, hypertension, and other chronic diseases.
Insomnia costs the US workplace $63.2 billion per year. I would imagine this is lost work (sick days), and workplace accidents. In adolescents, sleep deprivation can cause mood/behavior disorders and poor academic performance. It also takes much longer than people think to catch up on sleep deprivation. The longer the deprivation, the longer time (in nights) it takes to reverse.
What does it take to get a good night’s sleep?
We’ve all heard about unplugging. It helps to put the phone in another room. Limit the consumption of food and alcohol later in the day for improved results. Take a relaxing bath or shower…..whatever works for you! A routine helps as well. For me, honoring my natural circadian rhythm is a must! I have always jokingly stated that I turn into a pumpkin at 10 pm. It’s true – I really need to be in bed at that time. If I stay up too long after that, it gets harder and harder for me to fall asleep. Something that also helps me is having a glass of water nearby. Believe it or not, I wake up thirsty during the night. Now we get to talk about why Water is Queen!
Our bodies are anywhere from 50-75% water. Like sleep, water also plays an important role in all the systems of the body. By the time you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated!!
Being 2% dehydrated decreases cognitive function, slows down metabolism and negatively affects mood. And it can make you sleepy!! Being dehydrated can increase the risk of kidney stones. Being 3% dehydrated can cause heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and cramps. Being dehydrated can also decrease the function of our lymph system, which is the body’s first line of immunity!
As you can see, sleep and water are King and Queen and play a huge role in our overall health and wellness!
Please do some research, ask some questions! Become an expert of your body.
And if you ever think of a question that you want me to write about, please let me know!
Julie Fisher NC 16532/SC 10822 LMBT, CPT T256290
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