Sleep is an important part of how we feel each day. Has your sleep ever been disrupted by bouts of insomnia or sleep apnea> Disruptions to our sleep routine are not fun. We all deserve a good night’s rest so we can be our best selves.
While I myself am not a sleep scientist I don’t think it takes science for you or me to understand just how important good sleep is, right? I may not know what is happening at the cellular level of my body when I stay up too late because of a Netflix-binge; but I’m familiar with the telltale affects the next day: mood swings, emotional fits, heavy eyelids, funky appetite and a super foggy brain.
While I support a good night’s rest no matter what the science says, I want to break it down. We will explore why nutrition matters, and how nutient-rich foods like moringa can help with your sleep hygiene.
Why Sleep is Important
There are lots of tasks your body does while you sleep. Sleep helps the brain and body repair, so you can be ready for another day. Getting good rest may also help prevent excess weight gain, heart disease, and increased illness duration.
When our bodies rest, we are able to have better mental functioning the next day, as well as energy. This seems intuitive. Inflammation from daily stress also has a chance to be processed while we sleep, especially for inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract as our bodies pauses eating.
While the amount of sleep you need can vary according to your age, most adults need an average of at least seven hours of sleep, to feel its juicy benefits.
How poor sleep affects health
We are all vulnerable to the effects of sleep deprivation, whether we get one hour of sleep or five, depending on the person. When we don’t get sufficient sleep then we can notice various problems, with long-term and short-term effects.
The most noticeable effect is our emotional wellbeing after a bad nights sleep. The sleep-deprived brain has a difficult time registering emotions both in the self and in others.
Poor sleep has a huge impact on cardiovascular health, so much so that poor sleep can increase morbidity due to cardiovascular issues. In one study the researchers found that those that reported getting fewer than six hours of sleep a night were 66% more likely to have hypertension than those getting an enviable 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
Sleep deprivation is now well-established as a dangerous risk factor for many other cardiovascular issues such as blood pressure, glucose metabolism, hormonal regulation and inflammation. Sleep deprivation is so dangerous that it is unethical to force people to deprive themselves of sleep.
Another dangerous aspect of sleep deprivation is the impact it has on our nervous system. In a way, being deprived of sleep launches your nervous system into fight-or-flight mode without the ability to get out of it. In fact, researchers found that participants that were only recently deprived of sleep—as in, just one night of poor sleep—had a 60% increase in brain activity in the stress response system compared to participants with normal sleep.
This fight-or-flight response then initiates an inflammation response throughout the body. Our bodies panic to alleviate the phantom stress that sleep deprivation induced.
By now, you may be ready to learn more about how to help ensure good rest each night.
How Moringa can help Sleep Health
Acquiring more sleep is a great goal, as is boosting the overall nutritional quality of food you’re receiving each day. Sleep and nutrition influence the other. Powerful foods that give you energy, flush the body with multivitamins, and reduce inflammation are key.
Moringa has been touted as a superfood over the past couple years and this is because of its large reach in health benefits. Moringa has gained recognition from grocery stores and celebrities across the country. Recently, Naomi Campbell and Martha Stewart both cited moringa as a powerful way to nourish and energize the whole body, as well as support greater immune health.
Eating moringa everyday might be the new change your sleep routine needs. This plant from “the miracle tree” has been used by cultures all over the world for thousands of years. In the US, you can find moringa in energy shots, smoothie mixes and more!
Let’s try our best to give our bodies support. Let’s exercise a few times a week and eat our vegetables. Exercising can help with a quality rest, as can going to bed early enough so that we match our natural circadian rhythm. Try to go to bed early enough so that we feel awake and alert the next day.
Any other tips for improving the quality of a sleep routine? What works for you? Let us know in the comments below!
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