Sleep is absolutely essential to our health. This is especially important when it comes to autoimmune disease and is just as important as diet and exercise. Sleep gives us energy and mental clarity, helps boost our mood and better handle the stresses of the day. Our immune system is dependent on adequate sleep to effectively protect us.
The studies and the impact on your body
A 2016 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report showed that 1 in 3 U.S. adults don’t get adequate sleep. The recommended amount for adults is AT LEAST 7 hours each night. Less than 7 showed an increase in cortisol levels leading to an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, weight gain, and frequent mental distress.
Epidemiological studies have shown that reduced sleep, in as little as 6 hours/night for a week, activates the innate and acquired immune system leading to chronic low level inflammation. This constant inflammation contributes to detrimental health conditions in as little as one week of reduced sleep. These studies also show that some of the gene expression returned to normal after recovery sleep but not all. So, while you think you may be “catching up” on sleep over the weekend there is much more happening at the cellular level keeping your immune system on over drive.
Studies by UCLA have also found that sleep interventions could be a way to combat inflammation associated with things like cardiovascular disease, arthritis, diabetes and other autoimmune disorders. Also, within these studies, the results showed that white blood cells called monocytes produce much higher amounts of two disease-fighting proteins after a night of sleep loss, compared with amounts found after a night of uninterrupted sleep.
6 Tips for better sleep
- Creating a Bedtime routine
Helps to prompt your body to prepare for sleep. Ex: wash face, read a book, etc.
- Maintaining a consistence schedule
Going to bed/ getting up at the same time every day.
- Sun exposure in morning and noon
Has been shown to help with your circadian rhythm
- Dimming lights at sundown
Studies show this to initiate melatonin production
- Daily Exercise
Although it is advised not too close to bedtime
- Keeping the room cool
By turning the air down before bed can aid the bod in falling asleep
This is a hormone that the pineal gland releases and regulates the sleep/wake cycle by rising in the evening darkness and lowering in the morning light.
Gamma-amino-butyric acid (GABA) is an amino acid that slows the firing of neurons in the brain creating calmness and slowing excessive thoughts that tend to keep us up at night.
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is a centuries old herbal remedy for calmness. Think of it as the herbal version of Valium.
- Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 also known as Pyridoxine aids in the production of serotonin, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and GABA.
This mineral is very important to the body. It aids muscle relaxation and energy production. Magnesium works together with potassium and calcium.
My Favorite Sleep Aids
My personal favorite sleep aids are NYR Organics Beauty Sleep body lotion and Beauty Sleep concentrate (added benefit of reducing fine lines and wrinkles) . Both contain Ylang Ylang which induces relaxation. I also LOVE the Goodnight Pillow Mist which contains Lavender, vetiver, geranium, chamomile, and mandarin. When I use these I am able to sleep through the night without having to get up to even use the bathroom (which happens more often than I’s like to admit). My children especially love the NYR Night Time Remedies essential oil roller, which is ever so slightly different from the mist; containing Rose oil in addition to the Lavender and chamomile. It helps them fall fast asleep and stay asleep all night.
Here are the benefits of the Key essential oils in the Pillow Mist:
Our relaxing French Lavender Essential Oil, with its familiar sweet fragrance, has a soothing and balancing effect on your body and mind.
Renowned for its ability to help you drift off naturally. With a calming and earthy scent, our Vetiver Essential Oil is grounding, calming and de-stressing.
Our Organic Geranium Essential Oil restores balance to your emotions and skin.
- Chamomile Roman
Light, fruity and calming our Chamomile Roman Essential Oil balances your emotions and eases tension.
Our restful Mandarin Essential Oil is expressed from the peel of the fruit. It has warming, soothing and uplifting qualities, which leave you feeling positively relaxed and ready for bed.