I don’t know how it happened, but somewhere along the way sleep-deprivation became some sort of a humble-brag, a badge of honour of adulthood. As if dealing with a pandemic wasn’t enough, it’s (sadly) safe to say we’re dealing with an epidemic of unhealthy sleeping habits too!
Well, it’s 2021, and I say it’s time we give ourselves what we deserve the most: a good night’s sleep. And in order to do that, let’s get a better understanding of a few factors that affect our sleep.
We’ve answered some critical questions about sleep in this article.
Why do I need quality sleep?
Sleep is a vital, often neglected, component of every person's overall health and well-being. Why? Because it enables your body to repair itself and recharge for another day. We think skimping on sleep can help us squeeze in extra work, but we could not be further away from the truth. A solid, undisturbed 8 hours of sleep boosts our energy levels, improves focus and helps us concentrate better, which in turn means, you can get a lot more work done in fewer hours than you would if you were working sleep deprived.
That’s not all, sleep is also one of the key pillars of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and better endurance and stamina during workouts.
Our sleep patterns also affect our appetites. Our hunger levels are much more under control when we maintain a healthy sleep cycle. Also, we’re a lot less grumpy, grouchy, moody when we’re well-slept!
How do I know if my sleep quality is good or bad?
Excellent question. And the answer is quite easy, really. You could be sleeping for 8 hours, but chances are it’s not doing you much good because it’s poor sleep quality. Here are some signs your sleep quality needs to improve as much as sleep duration:
- You wake up in the middle of the night almost every day
- You feel tired and drained even after sleeping for a full 8 hours
- You feel irritable and moody during the day
- You suffer from sleep apnea
- You have a strong urge to take naps during the day
- You take more than 30 minutes to fall asleep
- You lie awake for more than 20 minutes when you wake up in the middle of the night
How does stress affect sleep?
With a stressful event, there is a rise in Cortisol – the stress hormone. Not only does this switch the body into ‘awake’ mode, it sends the body into ‘active’ mode, similar to a state of exercise. So instead of winding down and replenishing its energy reserves, the body is wide awake exhausting your remaining energy reserves to stay ‘active’. This in turn leaves you wide awake but equally exhausted.
Does my phone affect my sleep?
*grabs megaphone, climbs onto rooftops and yells*
YES, IT DOES!
I know the usual logic is that we scroll through our phones in bed to tire our eyes out and lull ourselves into drowsiness. But, trust me, what you’re actually doing is delaying your sleep! The light from your screen affects the production of sleep hormone melatonin, which is also responsible for our sleep-wake cycle. This hormone is secreted in the dark (i.e. nighttime). Keeping your eyes glued to your screen also tricks your brain into thinking it has to be awake and alert, when it doesn’t need to! So, put your phone away, and focus on some restful breathing techniques instead!
Sleep pills: yay or nay?
There are sleeping pills/tonics that are available either via prescription or over the counter. These are synthesized to depress your central nervous system, slowing down your breathing and reflexes, causing drowsiness.
Do they serve a purpose? Certainly!
But as with a lot of medicines, these only address the symptoms and not the cause. But when we look to herbalism and Ayurveda, we know that there are natural solutions, which address the root cause of your sleep issues.
Sleep Supplements you can take
An equally effective, safer alternative are all natural sleep supplements like Cosmix’s ‘Sleep like a baby’. This mix is a combination of antioxidants and anti-stressor agents, that help wind down the body and relax the mind, to gently nudge you towards deep and restful sleep. How can a plant mix do THAT with zero side effects or cause for concern? It’s not magic, it’s pure herbs.
Effective Ingredients:The Cosmix ‘Sleep like a baby’ mix is chock full of all natural adaptogenic ingredients that are completely non-toxic, have no side effects and work harmoniously to regulate your body’s sleep cycle.
Schisandra Berry: This potent adaptogen reduces fatigue and helps undo the effects of stress on the mind and body. Its non-toxic plant agents support the body’s ability to ‘adapt’ to various stressors. This, in turn, reduces general fatigue, irritability and sleeplessness.
Jatamansi: Also called Valerian root, it’s a part of an ancient remedy for insomnia. Jatamanshi is a natural sedative and promotes awareness, relaxation and support to the brain. A potent calming agent, it helps improve initiation, duration and depth of sleep.
Ashwagandha: This therapeutic adaptogenic herb central to Ayurveda is known for its anti-stress properties. It allows your body to tackle the symptoms associated with stress and anxiety and produces a calming effect that helps improve the quality of sleep.
Sleep Like a Baby is an all natural formulation, that gives your body the natural ingredients that help you relax, unwind and regulate your natural sleep cycle. Get yours here.
Found this blog helpful? Stay tuned for the next one, where we dive into how you can achieve a deep, restful sleep each night!