There is a really easy way to increase your health dramatically that does not cost any money, does not require any sit ups or resisting chocolate. Do I have your attention now ?
Its sleep. It’s likely you are not getting enough both in quantity and quality.
Tokyo international chiropractic recently made some simple changes by cutting out caffeine after 2pm, reducing alcohol in the evenings ( well most of the time ! ) and tying to be in bed by 9pm and I feel a whole better for it. The results were obvious within a week or 2.
So why does sleep matter ?
Here are Tokyo International Chiropractic’s top 5 reasons
1. Good Sleep will Help you loose weight
Yep this one is a good reason right here.
No dieting or heavy lifting required. Short sleep is significantly correlated with Obesity.
There are many theories as to why but recent research suggest that tired people eat more calories and that you develop poor regulation of your hormones due to poor sleep (1). Good sleep was also associated with the ability to maintain a healthy weight so once you have lose the flab getting some better sleep may be a helpful way to help maintain the new you.
2. Good sleep will increase your mental health and decrease your risk of depression
There is an important link between you mental health and depression. It has been estimated that 90% of patients with depression complain about sleep quality (5)
Sleep deprivation can cause increased levels of anxiety and cause you to find problems and distress in situations where you don’t really need to (3). If you already prone to depression or other mental health issues then getting better sleep should be an even more important goal of yours than it may to others (4).
3. Good sleep makes you a better nicer person and a better spouse
Poor sleep affects your irritability level and those tiny problems we all have to deal with in relationships can snowball into something far more serious just because are emotional brains are not being kept in check. Just imagine we all have a 2 year old living in our heads and its good sleep that keeps the angry little baba inside us all in check.
Poor sleep can also make us less able to succeed in social interactions. We are less likely to able to read the danger signs that we may be rubbing a person the wrong way or they are not interested in what we have to say ( 6). In short poor sleep may be making you a bit of an asshole.
4. Good sleep decreases your risk of alzheimer’s disease and even cancer
This is some really interesting research. Poor sleep means that your body is not ridding itself efficiently of the build of of amyloid beta (Aβ) plaques in the brain. (7). This over a long period can increase your risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease.
Essentially just as your muscles make lactic acid and other metabolic waste products your thinking also also produces waste that needs to be washed out and broken down. Sleeping is the time our bodies use to clean our brains more than we are awake.
Having your natural circadian rhythms has also shown to be slightly associated with an increased cancer risk not just for shift workers but even those living in more challenging time zones (7) so there is some link between poor sleep and cancer risk.
The Australian lifestyle medicine has some great information about caring for your brain better on the post below
5. Good sleep will increase your performance at work and ability to earn a better income
If you want that promotion or better income from your time at work then performing better is going to help you. There is a host of research to back up poor sleep and poor performance but your own experiences are probably the most valuable here.
So how much sleep is enough ?
This is going to vary on your stage of life, occupation and your own individual makeup and stresses you are under at the time. Here are some general guidelines below
The amount of sleep you need each day will change over the course of your life. Although sleep needs vary from person to person, the chart below shows general recommendations for different age groups. This table reflects recent American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recommendations.
|Age||Recommended Amount of Sleep|
|Infants aged 4-12 months||12-16 hours a day (including naps)|
|Children aged 1-2 years||11-14 hours a day (including naps)|
|Children aged 3-5 years||10-13 hours a day (including naps)|
|Children aged 6-12 years||9-12 hours a day|
|Teens aged 13-18 years||8-10 hours a day|
|Adults aged 18 years or older||7–8 hours a day|
If you routinely lose sleep or choose to sleep less than needed, the sleep loss adds up. The total sleep lost is called your sleep debt. For example, if you lose 2 hours of sleep each night, you’ll have a sleep debt of 14 hours after a week. So it’s not so much about how much per night it’s the amount over a few days and the week that really matters.
Sleeping when your body starts to tell you it’s time is also is very important.
Signs you are not getting enough sleep
If you’re getting less than eight hours of sleep each night, chances are you are going to be having some problems. Even worse being sleep deprived means you may be less likely to notice them !
Often people have been sleep deprived for so long that they forget what normal even feels like.
Here are a few signs to look for…
- Need an alarm clock in order to wake up on time
- Rely on the snooze button
- Have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning
- Feel sluggish in the afternoon
- Get drowsy after heavy meals or when driving
- Need to nap to get through the day
- Fall asleep while watching TV or relaxing in the evening
- Feel the need to sleep in on weekends
- Fall asleep within five minutes of going to bed
How to get better sleep
The following article has some great advice but some take home things are to avoid caffeine in the afternoons, avoid too much alcohol in the evenings and try and get some daily exercise of at least 20 minutes to a half hour
If you would like to make an appointment with an Australian trained English speaking Chiropractor in Tokyo please consider Tokyo international Chiropractic. You can book online here