According to Jeff Illiff there is more to sleep than we think! The body is an amazing vessel that takes us through every day of our life. The least we can do is provide it with the appropriate amount of sleep. Today’s modern society is sleep-sick and ignorant of the important facts about sleep and the hefty price of sleep deprivation (Dement & Vaughan, 1999). As Illiff explains, by reclaiming the most powerful and underrated health miracle that is sleep, we can harness our full potential and cleanse ourselves of any accumulated waste.
Sleep has an incredible restorative function for not just the body but also the mind. The brain is a unique organ in the body that meets incredibly high demands which sets it apart from the rest of the organs in the body.
The magic that happens whilst we sleep can be compared to the likes of housecleaning. Whilst we sleep, a fluid rushes through the brain to clear away waste. This only happens to a sleeping brain, as when the brain goes to sleep the brain cells shrink, opening up spaces in between them allowing this fluid to rush through and clear the waste that is accumulated during the day (Iliff, 2014).
Worsening sleep quality and sleep duration are associated with a greater amount of waste building up in the brain. Failure of the brain to keep its house clean, by clearing away waste may contribute to the development of conditions like Alzheimer’s (Iliff, 2014).
While our body is still, and our mind is off walking in dreams somewhere, the elegant machinery of the brain is quietly hard at work, cleaning and maintaining this unimaginably complex machine.
To re-iterate just how important sleep is we have come up with the 10 commandments of sleep, to help you reclaim your amazing!
- Reserve the bed for sleep. Don’t use the bedroom as an office, workroom or recreation room.
- Fix a bedtime and a waking time that matches the amount of sleep you need.
- If you are in the habit of taking afternoon naps, keep them short and sweet.
- Avoid excessive alcohol four hours before bedtime and do not smoke.
- Avoid caffeine six hours before bedtime. This includes coffee, tea, energy drinks and colas.
- Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods four hours before bedtime. A light snack before bed is acceptable (Williams, 2015).
- Exercise regularly, but not directly before bed.
- Use comfortable bedding.
- Find a comfortable temperature setting for sleeping and keep the room well ventilated.
- Eliminate as much noise and light as possible (Williams, 2015).
If you’re looking to upgrade your bedding and improve your sleep health, reach out to your local mattress expert today!