One night without sleep is manageable, but over time the accumulation of sleep debt can impact the quality of your life. Lack of sleep can also increase the risk of serious conditions, including chronic pain. Sleep is restorative and enables your body to re-energise – no other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort.
Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep per night, and it’s estimated that over 30 per cent of New Zealanders and Australians get less than this. A study across four large US companies found that insufficient sleep costs almost US$2000 in lost productivity per employee each year. That amount rose to over US$3500 in those suffering a serious lack of sleep.
SLEEP DEPRIVATION CAN AFFECT YOUR:
To be able to fall sleep, your nervous system has to calm down. This is easier said than done in today’s fast-paced, ‘always-on’ world, where your nervous system is constantly thrown into overdrive. If you have chronic pain, you already have a more active nervous system. Here’s some ways you can support your nervous system before the lights go out.
Breathing properly can support the transition from your sympathetic nervous system (‘fight or flight’ response) to your parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for rest, digestion, hormonal balance and relaxation. A growing number of studies show that breathing techniques are effective against anxiety and insomnia.
Alternate nostril breathing is thought to allow both sides of your brain to function optimally, which in turn calms the mind. Use your thumb and fourth finger to do this:
This counts as one round: try to do 6–8 rounds each day and see if you notice any improvement.
75% of our Style Instagram followers said they meditate before bed.
At a dose of 500mg/day, this supportive mineral has been shown to significantly decrease serum cortisol levels within hours of sleep initiation, resulting in an increased slow-wave sleep (a deeper sleep).
71% of you like the idea of taking magnesium supplements and herbal teas (Style Instagram snap poll).
ASHWAGANDHA (Withania somnifera)
Native to India and North Africa, ashwagandha may soothe stress, alleviate anxiety and be particularly helpful for combating insomnia and improving sleep quality.
PASSIONFLOWER (Passiflora quadrangularis)
This has been found to modulate the GABA system, which supports wellbeing. Passionflower can be found in Red Seal Relaxing tea. To start winding down, a cup after dinner each night can be a beneficial ritual to support sleep.
JAMAICAN DOGWOOD (Piscidia piscipula)
Native to Southern Florida and the West Indies, this tree’s bark is known for its therapeutic properties. It’s traditionally been used to aid sleep and manage anxiety, nerve pain, migraine and menstrual cramps.
Feel and operate better by adjusting your sleep routine. If you get stuck, these tips might help you fall asleep.
Switch off screens at least one hour before your bedtime. 75% of folks don’t do this, according to our survey.
What do we listen to when sleep’s eluding us (or press play on when our kids are too wired)? White noise tracks are popular, including aircraft cabin sounds (yes, really!), although 82% of our Insta pollsters said “no way” to this humdinger. They preferred watery sounds – think waves crashing or rain falling (70%).
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