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How to Improve Your Sleep

Woman sleeping in bed at nightI’m sure working from home has thrown everyone’s bedtime routine for a loop but as we are getting back into the workplace or approaching our second year of working from home, it is more important than ever to create good sleep habits.

Quality sleep is often overlooked in our always-busy society however, it is just as vital for health and wellbeing as regular exercise and proper nutrition. Sleep not only makes you look and feel better, the benefits extend far beyond just what you can see. Take a look at some of the key health benefits sleep can influence:

Improves Brain Development & Function

There are two main phases of sleep known as REM and Non-REM sleep which indicate the dreaming and non-dreaming stages of sleep, respectively. During non-REM, your brain is working to remove the unnecessary brain connections from the day — aka the things you don’t want or need to remember. During REM, or while dreaming, your brain is actively strengthening the memories you do want to keep. And for young kids especially, both stages of sleep are necessary to continue developing a child’s central nervous system (or “control panel” for the whole body)! More quality sleep = enhanced brain function.

Restores Physical Health

Healing happens when you sleep. This includes physical, emotional, and mental healing. It allows your brain to slow down and stop processing everything in your environment. Insufficient sleep can increase your risk of other health issues such as frequent migraines, depression, high blood pressure, diabetes, and lowered immunity.

Improves Performance

Sleep deficiency can result in decreased productivity, slower reaction times, increased risk of errors, and potential injury. Top athletes emphasize the importance of sleep before a game because they know their abilities are sharper when they do. Have you ever caught yourself “zoning out” due to fatigue during a meeting, listening but not really retaining any information? That’s called microsleep. It’s the sudden temporary episode of sleep or extreme drowsiness which can last for seconds or more, and often occurs when people do not get enough sleep consistently. This may not be a big issue if you occasionally doze off in class or a meeting but can be much more detrimental if a person is driving.

Devine Chiropractic Tips for Better Sleep

  • Limit screen time in the evenings; zero blue light one hour before bed.
  • Eat your last meal of the day 2-3 hours before bed
  • Ideal room temperature
  • Limit caffeine in the afternoons
  • Avoid watching/listening to stressful news in the evenings
  • Black-out curtains

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