So, a fair few interesting research papers regarding sleep for you this week.
Why is sleep so important? http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/tiredness-and-fatigue/Pages/lack-of-sleep-health-risks.aspx Well, if you don’t sleep enough your hormones will be adversely affected, which will, in turn affect your appetite, brain function and metabolism. It could put you at risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity too.
Sleep and technology
It is also important to note changes in society and technology and to acknowledge the impact they have on our sleep and wellbeing. The light emitted by computer screens, iPads and phones can interfere with the production of melatonin – which is responsible for making you feel sleepy.
If you don’t feel sleep, you won’t go to sleep. If you don’t go to sleep you won’t give your body and brain the chance to make the hormones needed to regulate your body functions and keep yourself healthy. You will over eat, crave high fat, sugary foods, not be aware of when you are full, not have the energy to exercise, and start to put on weight. This vicious circle can be broken by simply not looking at an electronic device ½ an hour before you go to bed.
Sleep and Stress
Never a winning combination as being stressed can lead to loss of sleep, which makes you stressed and round and round you go! But there are things you can do to break this vicious circle. Try to identify what is causing the stress and then reduce your exposure to that, or make changes. Devise yourself and new night time routine, something which relaxes you as much as possible before you to bed.
https://www.taichi-europe.com/sleep-well/ is a blog we posted a while ago on a Stanford University experiment of how sleep affects the pleasure centre of your brain.
Here are 5 things your brain does for you while you are asleep, that you did
n’t even know about!
Sleep & Dreams. It is not clear what the purpose of dreaming is, but we all dream, whether you remember them or not. Here are some thoughts as to why we dream. Some people keep a dream diary, writing down their dreams the moment they wake up. This can help to resolve a recurring dream or nightmare, or to make sense of them.
As you relax your brain creates different brain waves, Beta, Alpha, Theta and finally Delta. Delta waves are those produced whilst sleeping and deeply relaxed, but we produce, or spend less time in Delta as we age. Different levels of waves are associated with different functions, abilities and illnesses, e.g. depression and anxiety. If you have a look at the paper above you might be able to identify which level you spend most of your time and in and work out how to slow down your mind and body to change your brainwaves for the better!
Tai Chi is great for teaching you to relax, both your mind and body. Several studies also suggest that it helps sleep and our students have reported sleeping for long periods and more deeply too! So, if you want a better night’s sleep why not come along to one of our friendly classes and try a taster session! Go to classes page for your local branch.