Insomnia or poor sleep is one of the most common complaints I hear in my practice. Inadequate sleep can lead to buy codeine online memory problems, depression, irritability, a weaker immune system and an increased perception of pain.
High quality sleep is the best thing you can do for your health and best of all, sleep is free! Adequate sleep is extremely important for many facets of our functioning. During sleep, the body’s energy focuses on healing and restoring.
During deep sleep, the production of growth hormone (GH) is at its peak. Growth hormone speeds the absorption of nutrients and amino acids into your cells and aids the healing of tissues throughout your body. Growth hormone also stimulates your bone marrow, where your immune system cells are born.
Melatonin, is another hormone that is also produced during sleep. This hormone not only calms you, but it also inhibits tumors from growing, prevents viral infections, stimulates your immune system, increases antibodies in your saliva, has antioxidant properties and enhances your quality of sleep. Research has shown that sleep interruption, especially working a graveyard shift, can increase the risk of developing cancer by up to 60 percent. In fact, long term night shifts for women have been banned in European countries due to an increase of breast cancer thought to be related to low levels of melatonin.
Lack of adequate sleep also affects brain activity. A sleep deprived brain will produce increased levels of ghrelin, the “hunger hormone.” This hormone will make you feel more hungry, therefore your cravings for carbohydrates and sugar increase. This then leads to an increased risk for diabetes and obesity.
You may start to crave or desire caffeinated or energy drinks, nicotine and coffee to give you a boost during the day. However, these quick fixes only give you a false sense of mental alertness and actually aid in perpetuating the cycle of insomnia by keeping you up at night. High levels of caffeine and sugar also increase your heart rate and blood pressure.
So, what can you do to help create healthy, restful sleep? There are many simple ways and almost all of them are very simple to do! It’s important to first view sleep time as a sacred space and time for your body to restore itself. You can do this by creating a night time routine preparing yourself for this healing process.