-by Dr. Zach Taylor, DC, ACSM-EP
In the fast-paced world we live in, sleep often takes a backseat to our busy schedules. However, the importance of quality sleep cannot be overstated, especially when it comes to our overall health and well-being. In this week’s newsletter, we will explore the profound benefits that proper sleep has on our recovery and immunity, and touching on the critical role it plays in optimizing our body’s natural defenses.
Cellular Restoration and Repair- Sleep is a time of recovery and regeneration for your body. During the deep stages of sleep, particularly REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and slow-wave sleep, your body initiates crucial processes for cellular repair and restoration. This includes the release of growth hormones, which stimulate tissue repair, muscle growth, and the creation of important proteins. Your body has trillions of cells and in order for those cells to fully function you need to get good sleep.
Cognitive Function and Emotional Well-being- Beyond physical recovery, sleep is instrumental in supporting cognitive functions. Memory consolidation, learning, and problem-solving abilities are significantly enhanced by proper sleep. Sleep plays a pivotal role in regulating emotions and maintaining mental well-being, helping to manage stress, anxiety, and depression. Think of the last time you had a terrible night of sleep; how cognitively sharp did you feel the next day?
Immune System Boost- Adequate sleep is one of the most potent tools in allowing your immune system to function at 100%. During sleep, your body produces and releases cytokines, a type of protein that helps regulate your immune response. These cytokines are crucial in combating inflammation and infection, effectively strengthening your body’s immune defenses.
Inflammation Reduction- Sleep deprivation is linked to increased levels of inflammation markers in the body. Chronic inflammation has been implicated in a range of health issues, from cardiovascular disease to autoimmune disorders.
By getting enough sleep, you can help to regulate your body’s inflammatory responses, reducing the risk of chronic inflammation-related diseases.
Enhanced Metabolic Health-Proper sleep patterns are intimately tied to metabolic health. Sleep deprivation disrupts the balance of key hormones, including insulin, cortisol, and ghrelin. This disruption can lead to insulin resistance, weight gain, and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Ensuring adequate sleep contributes to a balanced metabolic profile, crucial for overall health.
Improved Athletic Performance and Recovery- For athletes, sleep is an essential component of their training regimen. It’s during sleep that the body releases growth hormones, aiding in muscle repair and growth. Moreover, sleep is critical for muscle memory consolidation, enhancing motor skills and performance in various sports and physical activities.
Resistance to Infections-Studies have shown that individuals who consistently get enough sleep are more resistant to infections. A well-rested body has a stronger immune system, better equipped to fend off viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens.
If you are struggling sleeping, consider the following 10 actions you can take in order to start sleeping better:
- View sunlight by going outside within 30 minutes of waking.
- Wake up at the same time each day
- Avoid caffeine within 8 hours of bed time
- Avoid viewing bright lights an hour prior to bed
- Limit daytime naps to less than 90 minutes or don’t nap at all
- If you wake up in the middle of the night, try NSDR to help fall back asleep.
- Supplement with Magnesium Threonate and Theanine
- Keep your bedroom cool and dark.
- Alcohol messes up your sleep, avoid this prior to bed
- Limit Stress and toxicity exposure.
Remember, we have the gas (Sympathetics) and the brakes (Parasympathetics) to our nervous system. Life is unnaturally stressful and stress causes subluxation and interference to our nervous system and when your body is stressed you don’t sleep well. So that is why it is beneficial and necessary for your Spine, which protects and is the suit of armor to your master control system to get checked and adjusted for subluxation to allow your bodies innate healing potential to be full expressed!