As each year passes, our lives become increasingly busier. Between our jobs, errands, family, and other social commitments, the months seem to fly by, and our schedules can oftentimes leave us exhausted. In order to feel our best and live healthy lives, we need to make sure that we are getting a proper amount of sleep. From infancy to adulthood, sleep plays a vital role in our health and overall well-being. The moment we start to doze off, the brain begins to recuperate, develop, and improve our cognitive health. When we sleep, we may feel at rest, but our bodies are actually still at work to support and improve our health.
Researchers have spent decades studying how sleep affects the body, and they have found that neurotransmitters (chemicals that help the nerves communicate) are created by neurons in our brainstem while we sleep. Serotonin – a key neurotransmitter – is responsible for modulating our mood, cognitive abilities, memory, and our ability to learn. An inadequate amount of sleep will lead to decreased serotonin, hindering our cognitive abilities. This will leave us vulnerable to illnesses ranging from cardiovascular disease to diabetes.
Hormones and Your Sleep
Did you know that your quality of sleep can also affect your hormones? Getting quality sleep is essential for regulating your body’s hormones including estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, hunger hormones, melatonin, growth hormones, and thyroid hormones. When we don’t get adequate sleep, our hormones will go into overdrive, leaving our bodies at risk for the illnesses and diseases mentioned above. We encourage you to schedule a visit at Exceed for a hormone evaluation.
How much sleep should we get each night?
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults between the ages of 18 and 65 get an average of 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. The amount of sleep that you should get depends on several factors, including how active you are throughout the day, if you have preexisting health conditions, your caffeine intake, and your stress levels. If you get significantly less sleep each night, evaluate your daily habits and make adjustments as needed. More importantly, consult your doctor for recommendations.
Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Rest
There are several practices that you can implement into your nightly routine to create healthy sleep habits:
Be consistent in your routine.
Try to go to bed and wake up around the same time each day to put your body’s clock on a schedule. After doing this for a while, your body will adjust to your routine and you’ll be more tired around the time when you go to bed.
Turn off your screens
The blue light that is emitted from our phones and computers can carry a negative impact on our retinal cells and our internal clock, so it is best to avoid them an hour before going to bed. If you enjoy reading in bed, consider purchasing a warm light clip-on to help you see clearly but avoid the harmful effects of blue light.
Exercising every day is one of the best ways to improve your sleep. Exercising will release endorphins throughout your body, alleviating your stress levels and helping you feel more relaxed before you go to bed. Exercise has also been proven to synchronize our bodies to their natural circadian rhythm that regulates our sleep-wake cycle. When we exercise and our internal temperatures rise, we feel more awake. If we exercise a few hours before going to bed, our body’s temperatures will fall, which facilitates sleep and will help us get quality rest.
Find effective, low-impact exercises to incorporate into your schedule here.
If you feel like you’ve lost your vitality, spark, or the drive that sustains you, Exceed Hormone Specialists is here to help. Contact us today to schedule your one-on-one consultation.
Special Announcement: The Lab Pass
We are now offering a Lab Pass at the clinic for an annual fee of $400. The Lab Pass includes all typical hormone and thyroid labs that are drawn here at Exceed. Just ask about this at your next appointment. Please note, any special tests are not included in this package price.