Many of us are aware that sleep is vital for good health, but why don't we prioritize it into our daily schedule? When we go to sleep, our brain actually gets busy doing some very important nightly maintenance!
Waste products build up as you go about your day; at night, your brain flushes through cerebral spinal fluid at higher rates to gently detoxify and clear away the debris. This is especially critical because a build-up of these products can contribute to cognitive decline as we get older. Sleep is also super important for learning and locking in memories…if you have a big test or presentation the next day, it is wiser to get some solid shut-eye than to stay up late cramming.
Here are some additional tips to help optimize your sleep: Avoid drinking coffee within 6 hours of going to bed. Even though you may be able to fall asleep, caffeine coursing through your veins might keep your sleep shallow and not very restful. Try to keep your schedule consistent so that your body can wind down and be able to get quality sleep every night. Generally speaking, regular exercise actually promotes better quality sleep (and vice versa!). However, since it raises your core body temperature and stimulates an adrenaline response, working out late at night and going to bed soon after can actually compromise your sleep. So get that work out in earlier! If eaten close to bedtime, high-carb meals can help you fall asleep faster. But eat your last large meal at least 2 hours prior to bedtime.Our sleep-wake cycles are at least partially regulated by light (which, in ancient times, was basically just the sun). Nowadays, we are bombarded with artificial, bright light and this delays melatonin release because your body thinks it’s still daytime! So, avoid using devices at least two hours before bed. Of course, this is not realistic for many of us, so consider investing in blue-light blocking glasses or just use your device’s built-in blue light blocking features if it has one or download the flux app!
For more information or to book a consultation meet Amanda Li, RD