It’s no mystery why everybody loves to sleep when it makes us feel amazing and ready to take on life! However, not all of us know why sleeping is essential to our health, and what we’re leaving on the table when we’re not getting enough of it. Here’s why you should prioritize giving your body the amount and quality of zzZzz’s it needs and natural solutions that can help you obtain it.
Sleep is the primary restorative activity that we take within our bodies and our health. On a molecular level, sleep is when the majority of our cellular renewal takes place. Cellular renewal is a term coining an optimization process that our bodies perform to cells that get old, slow, and need regeneration. The net effects of missing that cellular renewal are pretty much everything that we associate with aging.
Sleep is quite literally “the reset switch” for nearly every process in our body to function at an optimal rate.
– Dr. Wallace Vigo Nelson (CEO, M’lis)
Restorative rest is a beauty product, and all of the external signs of aging creep in when we’re not getting enough, such as bags under the eyes and deeper wrinkles. People walk up to us and say, “you look tired,” which is like the most backhanded cut ever. Nobody wants to look tired! However, when our cells aren’t renewing as they should from a lack of sleep, those signs of aging begin to make their appearance.
Most of our hormone production happens while we’re sleeping — especially the big ones. Men, if you’re concerned about your testosterone levels (which you should be, it’s essential for many facets of your health), know that most of its production happens while you sleep. Same with the human growth hormone (the “fountain of youth” hormone). When we aren’t sleeping well, we aren’t getting the proper release of the human growth hormone to help keep us looking and feeling young.
Memory & Mood
The mood-dictating brain chemistry that keeps you feeling positive, happy, and optimistic (all the things you want to feel) is created in large part when you sleep. Without adequate rest, you’re missing out on that vital brain chemistry production.
Brain chemistry production isn’t the only brain function that takes place while you sleep. Your brain actually filters information from the day to create short-term and long-term memories. Without sufficient sleep, you’ll have a harder time learning and recalling new information.
How Much Sleep Do You Need?
While there’s a lot of debate over this, many researchers have found that we might not need as much sleep as we once thought we did. Nonetheless, more than most people still aren’t getting enough of it.
The old standard of sleep was always eight hours. Advanced sleep studies find that the best amount of sleep for the average person is in the seven to seven and a half hour range, not eight hours.
Oversleeping Has Its Reasons
Not only is it about how many hours of sleep you get each night, but it’s also equally important at how well you sleep. Your quality of sleep can easily be affected by your lifestyle choices.
Here are some reasons why you may continually feel the need to sleep longer than the seven to seven and a half hour range each night:
- High Stress
- Eating Unhealthy Foods
- Lack of Exercise
Prioritizing general wellness habits can reduce the total amount of sleep that you need each night because your body won’t be trying to make up for unwanted health conditions an unhealthy lifestyle can bring.
– Dr. Wallace Vigo Nelson (CEO, M’lis)
If you need better sleep quality, the answer often begins with improving your sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene is habits that promote the proper internal environment of your body, and the environment of your bedroom to set you up for quality, restorative sleep each night.
Creating the Proper Sleep Environment
Once upon a time, we used to sleep in extremely dark and cool caves. This concept is the best way to think about why science is finding that your bedroom should mimic “cave-like” environmental qualities to promote quality, restorative sleep during the night.
- Darkness – As dark as possible. Turn off TVs and cover-up any ambient lights such as alarm clocks.
- Temperature – Not too cold and not too hot. Between 68 and 70 degrees is the sweet spot.
Limiting Blue Light Before Bed
Computers, TV’s, and phone screens are the most diabolical sources of blue light in our modern-day lives. However, using them right before bed isn’t good for our health because of the negative effects it can have on our sleep.
Our brains recognize blue light as sunlight, which can inhibit the release of sleep-inducing melatonin and reset your body’s sleep schedule. For this reason, we recommend you try setting up a routine that takes you away from blue light as much as possible one hour before bedtime.
You may have also heard of “blue light blocking glasses.” These orange lens glasses can be helpful to use at night by blocking ambient blue light. However, goofing with a blue light source while wearing blue light blocking glasses doesn’t replace the need to discontinue blue light use an hour before bed.
Limiting Caffeine in the Early Afternoon
It’s best to stop consuming caffeine or any other stimulants in the early afternoon because for many people (especially if you are not an exceptionally fast metabolizer of caffeine) the stimulant can affect you through bedtime and keep you from sleeping well. Even if you still happen to fall asleep, you will miss out on deep, quality sleep.
Following a Bedtime Routine
Following the same set of wind-down activities about an hour before bed psychologically trains your brain to recognize when it’s time to go to sleep.
Relax Your Mind
Put problems away for the night by creating a to-do list for the following day or even just writing down whatever thoughts, problems, or stresses that are active in your headspace. This way, you won’t forget anything, and you can revisit these thoughts the next day as needed. Whatever process works for you, find a way to get those down in writing and put them away for the night, so you don’t have to stay up at night worrying about those things.
Any activity that allows you to decompress from all the stresses of the day and transition into a restful state is good to do with the last hour before sleep.
– Dr. Wallace Vigo Nelson (CEO, M’lis)
A lot of people find that reading is an excellent way to help relax the mind. Some people find that meditation is a great thing for this. You can personalize this bedtime routine however you wish!
Relax Your Body
Interestingly enough, sleep studies find that the rapid cooling of your body temperature helps to cascade hormonally into the production of melatonin. You can take advantage of this “health hack” by either by taking a cold bath that pushes your body temperature down rapidly, or a hot relaxing bath is equally as beneficial. As you get out of that hot water into your cool sleeping environment, your body quickly cools, melatonin is released, causing you to sleep better during the night.
The Problem With Sleeping Medication
While tranquilizing sleeping medication will make you unconscious while you sleep, it’s not giving you a good quality of sleep. Tranquilizing drugs create an effect on the body that’s much more like passing out then going into restorative rest mode. We don’t believe this is the answer to improving sleep quality. It’s simply not the natural way in which your body goes to sleep, and your body doesn’t recognize it as naturally occurring sleep.
Nutrients that Support Restorative Sleep
Supplementally, there are things that we can do to help support quality, restorative sleep. The main thing with that is providing your body the nutrients that it needs to maintain those natural hormonal activities that lead to sleep.
- Omega Fatty Acids – helps to improve sleep quality by fueling hormone production that you need during sleep.
- Vitamin D – also vital for hormone production, especially for men.
- Calcium – helps to prevent jumpy legs or restless sleeping.
- Magnesium – aids in the body’s processes of sleeping.
Natural Sleep Supplements
For many years we watched with frustration as the people we were working with on their health needed better solutions for getting deep, multiphasic sleep. So, we engineered M’lis Sleep to be the ideal supplement to help support natural, quality sleep.
M’lis Sleep Active Ingredients:
- Melatonin – the hormone your body naturally produces to help you fall asleep.
- 5-HTP – a metabolite of an amino acid that is the precursor to your body’s natural production of melatonin.
- GABA – the neurotransmitter that your body uses for all of its relaxing systems within your body.