There’s lots to talk about in the world of sleep this week – from how sleep can impact your chance of getting sick to cannabis and it’s secret super power: SLEEP!
If there’s one thing the pandemic brought to light, it’s our need for better sleep – on a regular basis. While we may have believed we could ignore our sleep needs previously (we couldn’t), there’s no denying that sleep – and lack of it – has increasingly become the topic of new research. And while we struggle through a major historical event, doing our best to hold onto our health and sanity, researchers are studying us every step of the way.
Twenty years from now, our approach to sleep in times of crisis and stress will help future generations understand the impact sleep has on overall health. If you’re struggling with sleep, you’re not alone. And there are things you can do to help yourself – from the comfort of your own home. We’ve scoured the internet for research articles and expert sleep advice to help you find the answers you’re looking for to improve your sleep.
Could lack of sleep increase your chances of getting sick?
According to a new study, disrupted sleep, insomnia and daily burnout are all linked to a higher risk of coronavirus infection, more severe Covid-19 symptoms and longer recovery periods. Countless studies have linked poor sleep and burnout to a heightened risk of colds and flu as well as long-term conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disease and death from all causes.
“We have a lot of evidence that if you have an adequate amount of sleep, you definitely can help to prevent or fight any kind of infection,” Monika Haack, a psychoneuroimmunologist at Harvard Medical School in Boston, told National Geographic in an interview. Read more: forbes.com
How much sleep do you really need?
A 2018 study published in Molecular Psychiatry suggests that genetics may also have a role in how long you need to sleep, and whether you’re predisposed to sleep disorders as you age. If you have already experienced or been diagnosed with a sleep disorder, your sleep quality may suffer, and you may need more sleep than a recommended range. Sleep quality is an important factor here; you may be sleeping for seven hours total, but seven hours of disrupted sleep is different from seven hours of deep sleep.
Sleep is so essential for an active, productive day — but many don’t realize just how crucial a good sleep routine is for your holistic health (and appearance!). Getting enough sleep does much more for your body than it does for your mood, believe it or not; during what’s known as REM sleep, your brain processes information you’ve taken in during the day and improves your long-term memory. Plus, your body often works on repairing itself during a good night’s sleep, and in younger adults and children, growth development also occurs overnight. Researchers are discovering more links between a healthy sleep routine and other holistic benefits, from nutrition and metabolism to emotional wellbeing, every year. Read more: goodhousekeeping.com
Can cannabis help you get a good night’s sleep?
If you’re having trouble getting a good night’s sleep these days, you’re not alone. Up to 70 million people are affected by sleep disorders, according to data from the National Institutes of Health, and consumers are spending $70 billion a year on sleep aids, 65% of which goes to medications. And let’s be honest, the past year hasn’t been terribly conducive to getting a good dose of shuteye. In fact, a recent study found that a substantial portion of the general population was affected by sleep disorders during the coronavirus pandemic, often leading to impacts on mental health.
To deal with the stress associated with the Covid-19 outbreak, many have turned to cannabis for help sleeping. A recent Harris Poll survey found that half of cannabis consumers were replacing or reducing their alcohol consumption with marijuana during the pandemic. At the same time, California cannabis delivery service Ganja Goddess saw a whopping 635% increase in revenue for products marketed to support sleep. Read more: forbes.com
Just for fun – do octopuses dream? Maybe. But they definitely change colors while they sleep
Scientists used to think that only mammals and birds experienced different sleep states — think of a sleeping cat twitching as though it were chasing a bird in the backyard. More recent research, however, has revealed some reptiles and cuttlefish — another cephalopod and relative of the octopus — show non-REM and REM-like sleep.
Octopuses have a very different brain structure to humans, but they share some of the same functions as mammal brains. The creatures have special learning abilities — including being able to solve problems and other sophisticated cognitive abilities. Read more: cnn.com
Rest well & wake up ready to go!
Better sleep gives rise to better mornings, bringing your goals into focus and dreams within reach. Hungry for more sleep info? Dig into these posts:
- TED talks about sleep
- 5 golden rules for the best sleep ever
- How electronics in your bedroom affect sleep