Sleep – The cornerstone of wellness?

Sleep – The cornerstone of wellness?

Question : When was the last time you fell asleep easily, slept a full 8 hours and woke up feeling revitalised?

Answer: What all three …. eh….. still thinking …. yep you got me on that.

A whopping amount of us don’t get the recommended 7-8 hours sleep every night and in his recently released book “How to be well” Frank Lipman M.D describes sleep like this

“Sleep is a cornerstone of wellness: It’s essential for focused mental performance, a stable mood, a strong immune system, a healthy stress response, proper cellular repair, and a healthy metabolism.”

“It’s when your body does much of its disease-fighting maintenance work.”

 

In our ever connected and switched on digital world it is harder for our bodies to tune into their natural circadian rhythms of rising and setting with the sun.  While electric light from the likes of street lights, offices, tv screens, car head lights and mobiles allow us to overthrow the our body’s perception of light and dark, this kind of light pollution can have a significant impact on our wellbeing and health.

Blue lights that are emitted from your mobile or tablet are one of the key disruptors of the natural light to dark cycle.  I know that when my wifi was down last year I had an imposed digital detox from my phone, tablet and evening TV watching. As a result, I found I was getting tired earlier each evening …. eh please read falling asleep on the sofa …. super early…. and also had a much better and sounder sleep when I got to my bed!

In a 2016 study published by Stanford Sleep Epidemiology Research Center, research showed that people who lived in areas with high nighttime light exposure from street lights etc, were significantly more likely to go to bed later and suffer from sleep problems including less sleep and poor sleep quality.

So what can we can we do to get ourselves sleeping like a baby? Lipman recommends a transition period where you give your body time to relax from your busy day and a digital detox is a brilliant way to start this. To find out more, check out How To Be Well by  Frank Lipman M.D

 

 

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