Facts About Sleep You May Not Have Known
Sleep Facts That Might Help You Snooze Better
4 Helpful Sleep Facts You May Not Have Known
by Catherine Conelly
Sleep is a tricky thing. As kids, we avoid sleep. We fight it. As adults, we pine for it, crave it while life cuts into our precious sleep hours. Still, according to the National Sleep Foundation, we’re the only mammals who intentionally put off sleep — whether in favor of social events, work obligations or scrolling through Instagram. But not if we know what’s good for us.
Sleep is a staple of good health, affecting everything from brain function to emotional well-being to physical health. It’s linked to a healthy heart and problem-solving skills as well as decreased depression. In other words, not getting a solid night’s sleep on a regular basis can get in the way your ability work and to play. If you find it hard to get out of bed in the morning, here are a few sleep facts that might help.
1.It Should Take You 10 Minutes to Fall Asleep at Night
Falling asleep quickly isn’t always a good thing. In fact, according to the Cleveland Health Clinic, falling asleep in five minutes or less could be a sign of sleep deprivation. Ideally, you should start snoozing 10 to 15 minutes after you lay down. If you’re zonking out too quickly, establish a regular bedtime routine that doesn’t involve tech. Harvard medical researchers found that using tech within the hour before bedtime decreases your REM sleep — the kind responsible for rejuvenating you. So, instead of scrolling through the latest headlines or your emails, spend that hour reading, stretching, meditating or any combination of the three.
2.Exercise Can Both Help And Hinder Your Sleep
While a regular exercise routine is generally considered to help you sleep better, exercising too close to bedtime could interfere with your sleep. A recent scientific review published in Sports Medicine journal found that evening exercise delayed both slow-wave and REM sleep. This may be due to the fact that exercise releases endorphins and increases your body temperature — two factors that get in the way of quality sleep. What does that mean for you? Aim to exercise in the morning or on lunch breaks, and if you need help winding down at night, consider a CBD tincture to help relax your body and mind so you can reach REM faster.
3.Your Brain is Awake When You’re Sleeping
You may be resting, but your brain is still working. According to research published in the journal Current Biology, some of your neurons are less active when you’re asleep while others are more active. Research even suggests that brain cells act a bit unusually during sleep — firing backward — and it’s that unusual activity that may sharpen your memory and help make room for new memories. It’s all the more reason to establish a bedtime routine that promotes sleep rather than hurts it.
4.You Can’t Actually “Catch Up On Sleep”
That whole “I’ll catch up on sleep this weekend” is great in theory. However, it doesn’t actually make up for all of the damage sleep deprivation caused all week long. One study published by The American Journal of Physiology mimicked a sleep-restricted work week followed by recovery sleep for 30 participants. While recovery sleep helped them improve inflammation, stress and general sleepiness, they still weren’t able to make up for performance deficits (like the ability to focus). Instead of sleeping less to make more time for work, prioritize sleep in order to be more productive and efficient at work.
Since that’s often easier said than done, whether you’re prone to stress, have trouble falling asleep or struggle to stay asleep for quality REM, explore the world of CBD. It’s been shown to reduce stress and improve your ZZZs. While there’s a lot of interesting sleep facts, one is crystal clear — you win when you bump sleep up on your priority list.
- Catherine Conelly is a former beauty and health editor turned freelance writer and digital marketer. She’s written for Shape, Thrillist, PopSugar and StyleCaster. Her work has also appeared on Forbes, Entrepreneur, the Glassdoor blog, and Adidas Game Plan A.