The New Science Of Sleep

By January 24, 2022 February 20th, 2022 No Comments

Do you think you got enough sleep this past week?

Can you recall the last time you woke without an alarm clock, feeling refreshed and not needing a coffee immediately upon waking?

If the answer to either of these questions is “no”, you’re not alone. 

Two thirds of all adults in developed nations are not getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep. 

Increasingly, research is continuing to highlight the importance of sleep for optimal health.

Getting appropriate sleep can make us smarter, slimmer, happier and help ward off the likes of Heart Disease, Cancer and Alzheimers (and essentially every other disease!)

The World Health Organisation has even gone so far as to declare a sleep loss epidemic throughout industrialized nations.

So why aren’t we getting enough quality sleep?

Part of society’s apathy toward sleep has been caused by the failure of science to explain why we need it. 

Ever heard the saying; “I’ll have plenty of time to sleep when I’m dead”. 

Our culture celebrates the workaholic, ‘sleep-when-I’m-dead’ approach, almost as a badge of honour, in what is an unhealthy competition of ‘whoever can get by on the least amount of sleep, wins.’

Humans are the only animal species who willingly deprive themselves of sleep. 

As a result, we experience heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, depression, anxiety, hormonal disturbances, autoimmune conditions in disproportionate amounts compared to other animals. 

The very real truth is this; 

The shorter your sleep, the shorter your lifespan.”

Dr Matthew Walker, PhD.

If you’ve lost control of your sleep routine, the good news is that you can reclaim it, with a little discipline. 

There are things that help your sleep, and there are things that hinder it. 

Keep in mind, that your body is clever, and your body WANTS sleep.
It’s just that the way that our modern lifestyles currently are – with our home lighting, our device use, and our late-night dinner culture– many of our current lifestyle habits simply fly in the face of what our body naturally needs to sleep well. 

So how can we regain control of our sleep without moving into a dark cave and getting rid of our devices?

Here’s a few tips to help you sleep better

  1. Get your bedroom right – Dark, cool and electronic-free.

You want your room as dark as possible, which includes any standby lights from electronic devices. 18 degrees Celsius is the sweetspot for your ideal bedroom temperature. Blue-light from devices interrupts the production of your sleepiness hormone ‘Melatonin’, so consider ceasing device use an hour or two before bed. 

2. Avoid caffeine late – Caffeine has a half-life of 6 hours, and a quarter-life of 12 hours -meaning if you have a cup of coffee at Noon, half of the caffeine in that cup of coffee is still in your system at 6pm, and a quarter of it still in your system at midnight that night! Consuming your caffeine earlier in the day can help minimize it impacting your sleep later in the day

3. Avoid eating and drinking late – Our digestive systems work in alignment with our circadian rhythm, meaning our body’s prefer digesting food during daylight hours rather than the night. As much as an alcoholic nightcap might make you feel like you fall asleep quicker, your quality of sleep is actually poorer, with less deep sleep. 

If you feel like your body is getting in the way of a good night sleep, and you think Chiropractic care might be able to help, then reach out! We’d be glad to see if we can help you. 

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