The more we became interested in investigating the present-day chronic illnesses and investing in better performance, we started to realize the importance of the things we, maybe, took for granted.
Humans have always been doing certain things and following their biological imperatives, such as eating, sleeping, moving and exercising, which is also why we failed to understand just how important it is since it comes so naturally.
A lack of sleep can affect many aspects of your life, such as health and work productivity
But, finally, we have a significant amount of research at our disposal to make some claims about these seemingly simple processes that turn out to be much more complex.
Is Quality Sleep All That Important
In short, yes. Poor sleep does affect your reproductive, immune and cardiovascular system, along with cognition and learning. It can even have an impact on you socially, as sleep-deprived individuals have shown to be more suspicious of others’ motives and couldn’t make good judgments.
Generally, anything connected to the prefrontal cortex will drop in efficacy, like planning, personality expression, decision-making, problem-solving, reasoning, self-control, and attention. This is because the neurons located in the prefrontal cortex slow down drastically when we are sleep deprived. So the effect is the same as doing a test or driving when drunk.
If that’s not enough, lack of sleeping also increases your cortisol levels, which in return leads to an increase in the most dangerous, visceral fat, while losing muscle mass. Depression is also a side-effect, due to a drop in the “youth hormone”.
Your Spine is the Architecture of Sleep
What’s interesting is that you can’t compensate for those sleepless hours with more sleep later. So, if that’s the case, why not make the most of your sleep and truly make it count? Even if you get enough hours of rest, they might not be as effective.
Anything that compromises your spine can impair your sleep, like stiff neck and back or sleeping position. Your spine is connected to all of the important organs in your body, so an improper position of the spine can mess up the reparation and resting process of your entire body.
This includes the brain, which cleanses and flushes its toxic waste through the lymphatic system running through the spine. This glymphatic system works primarily during our sleep, which is the most important when it comes to understanding the importance of quality sleep.
The Sleeping Position Debate
There are pros and cons to various sleeping positions, but if we are to vouch for one position, it would probably be the lateral position, for several important reasons. One of them being the fact that this is the position which is preferred in the animal kingdom as well, which gives as a reason to believe that nature did this with purpose.
The other reason is the already mentioned glymphatic system. It was shown in an experiment with rodents that those that slept on their sides in the lateral position had the most open transport of waste through the lymphatic system and the most efficient cleanup of the brain.
The third important reason is the obstruction of airflow and oxygen in your body. When you sleep on your back, the tongue slides down, so you might experience snoring or sleep apnea, which damages your dream.
Other Ways You Can Improve Your Sleep
If you can’t stand sleeping on your side or have other reasons not to, you can get the adjustable bed. It serves to improve sleep and rest position just as well, according to the sleep experts at Reverie.
Another thing you can do is follow your circadian rhythm. Which means letting your body get enough cortisol in the morning to spike you up, also get that morning sun. Then later in the evening, let the melatonin work properly and reduce or shut out any blue lights from your devices at least an hour before bed. Or replace them with warm lights.
Get an adjustable bed and reduce blue lights for the ultimate sleeping experience
There are a bunch of great tips to improve your overall quality if you truly want to have the sleep of your life. Here were mentioned only the most important considerations to keep in mind the next time you lay down to rest.