Why does sleep matter? How sleep affects our brain and what we can do to sleep better
Sleep is one of the greatest tools we have at hand for healing.
In the past years, I have shared some simple tools for sleep support, and I have written about the importance of finding rest so we can better manage stress and feel calm within our bodies.
Now, I want to go deeper into why sleep matters and how it affects our health.
At bedtime, some key parts of the brain work together to regulate sleep. In this process, some genes turn on that help manage restoration and metabolic pathways. It is also a fundamental part of the physical process of neuroplasticity - which is the ability of our brain to change and adapt through lived experiences.
When we allow ourselves to have a truly restful sleep, our creativity improves, and so does our capacity to learn new things. Sleep allows us to heal and recover, so we can continue to do all the things we love during our waking hours.
Studies show that, in otherwise healthy adults, short-term consequences of sleep disruption include increased stress responsivity, somatic pain, reduced quality of life, emotional distress and mood disorders, and cognitive, memory, and performance deficits.
Relaxation techniques before bed have been shown to improve sleep quality and are another common technique used to treat insomnia. Creating a bedtime routine can help signal to the body and mind that all activity is done for the day and it is time to rest.
Here are 5 tips to help you create a bedtime routine:
If you want to learn more, I am excited to share that I will be having lots of more resources on sleep, self-care, and burnout prevention coming out soon so please stay tuned for more!
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May we all love the life we live…
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