HOW DID YOU SLEEP LAST NIGHT?


During restful sleep we recover and repair.



Our breathing changes when we sleep, we breathe a little less and have slightly higher carbon dioxide levels in our body than when we are awake.


There are different rhythms and stages during sleep.


'Deep sleep' facilitates cell repair and immune function.


In our non-REM or 'deep sleep' stage our bodily functions slow down. This stage is responsible for cell repair and improved immune function. As we move through deep sleep it becomes more difficult to wake up.


REM sleep occurs toward the end of our sleep cycle and this is when we process our day's activities. This stage is associated with increased brain activity, particularly in the emotional parts of our brain. In this phase of sleep the diaphragm is the only active skeletal muscle. This means people who rely on accessory muscles for breathing may have some difficulty during this stage of sleep.


All sleep stages and cycles are needed for us to be healthy.


Health guidelines recommend seven to eight hours of sleep per night for adults, nine to ten hours per night for early teens, and ten to twelve hours for children.



Tips For A Restful Sleep...


Exercise.

Exercise reduces stress and also boosts our body's serotonin levels which are needed to promote sleep. Allow three hours to recover after exercise before going to bed.


Calm Space.

Create a peaceful environment in your bedroom. Keep phone, tablet, TV and other screens out of this space. Avoid screen time and tasks which challenge your mind for two to three hours before bed.


Warmth.

Try a warm shower, spa or bath before bed. Make sure this is warm and not hot, as overheating slows our body's release of melatonin and delays our ability to fall asleep.



Avoid alcohol before bed.

Alcohol can make it easier for some people to fall asleep, however the quality of this sleep is poor, often broken and leads to waking unrefreshed.


Avoid stimulants.

We have a lot of stimulants in our lives, many we may be unaware of. Reducing stimulants improves sleep quality. Aim to avoid coffee after 3pm. Eating spicy or rich meals late in the evening also inhibits quality sleep.


Stop smoking or modify your smoking.

If you do smoke, avoid doing so for four hours before going to sleep. If you are a non-smoker, even better!



Relax & Breathe.

To relax into sleep try BradCliff Beach Pose (refer back to our previous 'BREATHE' post) for five minutes and drift into your breathing pattern.


Please contact us if you would like more information.




Written by Ilana Hadfield