Melissa Crispell, CNS, CNHP
We all know that sleep is important but just how important is it? Some think that just one sleepless night is really no big deal. Sleep deprivation has been compared to alcohol intoxication. You wouldn’t get in the car or go to your child’s school event intoxicated, right? Right!
Follow along as I walk you through some sleep facts that make you go “hmmm.”
- REM sleep makes up 20% of our total sleep time; the remaining 80% is in non-REM stages.
- We dream 4-6 times per night but forget more than 95% of our dreams by the next morning.
- Just 60-90 more minutes of sleep each night could make you happier and healthier.
- 41% of adults prefer to sleep in the fetal position while only 8% sleep on their back…which happens to be the healthiest position.
- It takes an average of 10-15 minutes to fall asleep. If you pass out within a few minutes, it could mean you’re sleep deprived.
Sleep stats are fun but setting yourself up for the best possible night’s sleep is super important.
Try any of these ideas if you’re struggling to get restful and restorative sleep:
- Turn down the temperature in your room. Our body temperature naturally starts to drop as nighttime falls, which signals that it’s time to wind activities down. Being in a cooler room encourages your body’s natural instinct to sleep. A temperature of 60-68 degrees stimulates the production of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep and also has powerful anti-aging benefits! 🙂
- Sleep with less (clothes). Sleeping au natural helps the skin cool off faster, which may help lower body temperature and allow you to fall asleep sooner. When sleeping with your spouse or partner, there are increased oxytocin levels (read stress-reducing benefits) with sleeping skin to skin. This may help promote a warm and positive relationship.
- Diffuse essential oils. The power of scent cannot be ignored, as it’s closely linked to our memories and emotions. (This is why Sam’s Club and Costco pump the bakery scent throughout the store.) Try any of these oils in a diffuser, or place a few drops on your pillow at bedtime:
- Lavender ― associated with lower blood pressure, heart rate and skin temperature.
- Valerian― common in bedtime herbal teas, may help you fall asleep faster and improve your quality of sleep.
- Bergamot ― has both an invigorating effect and calming properties. It may help reduce anxiety and stress.
- Use organic cotton sheets. Healthier bed, healthier planet, greater comfort! Cotton is naturally breathable and wicks away moisture to keep you cool throughout the night. Choosing organic cotton is good for the planet, as conventionally farmed cotton has taken a huge toll on our earth and is often treated with pesticides.
- Choose PERQUE Sleep Guard. This pure L-tryptophan formulation contains vitamins B2 and B6 for enhanced uptake and function. It naturally improves body levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, helping to achieve restorative sleep with health-restoring sleep rhythms, and better brain activity, mood and energy. Click here to receive samples.
Whatever your sleep routine, taking the time to make these small changes can result in improved mental and physical well-being.
Melissa Crispell is a Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Natural Health Provider, Certified Lifestyle Educator, Certified Wellness Coach, and Certified Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist. Melissa has been published in Living Well, DC Practice Insights and Acupuncture Today. In addition, she has spoken at the Easter Seals Annual Caregiver conference, Functional Medicine Success Summit, American Association for Naturopathic Physicians, and is a member of the Health Studies Collegium speaker’s bureau and National Acupuncture Detoxification Association.
Melissa has served over 9 years as a Clinical Training Specialist for PERQUE Integrative Health, teaching physicians and providers all over the world how to grow their functional medicine practice using medical grade supplements and functional immunology. Melissa’s mission is to empower people of all health statuses to take control of their wellness journey. This includes debunking myths and sharing basic health concepts that are frequently overlooked. Melissa believes that when we have better information, we make better choices.
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