Finding consistent, solid rest in today’s overscheduled, tech-centered lifestyle is a worthwhile mission. Sleep impacts everything from your nervous system to your hormones, from your hunger levels to your metabolism. The interplay between what you eat and how you sleep takes the relationship even further. Spring is a great time to begin a more healthful sleep routine as we begin a new cycle and season. It’s a time of year when we can set ourselves up for success during the busy and outgoing summer months to come… yes, the warm weather is on the way!
“Sleep is when the soul refreshes the body.” – Deepak Chopra
Why Sleep Matters…
Sleep, like diet, is key to your optimal health and well-being. It’s part of the balance you need to live a healthy, vibrant existence. When you rest, the body and mind are able to detoxify, heal, and re-energize. While you sleep, your energy shifts inward to help your system fight free radicals, reduce inflammation, boost immunity and stimulate cellular repair. It’s a much-needed respite for your mind too. During the day, we are taxing our brain with problem-solving, decision making, and absorbing stress. In a truly restful state, your mind is able to unplug and get the much-needed reboot it needs to hit the ground running again when you wake.
Your sleep-wake cycle is controlled by your circadian rhythm (aka your biological clock) and sleep homeostasis, an internal biochemical system that works intuitively to remind you when to rest. Both of these are influenced by an array of internal and external factors including exercise, stress, and diet. If any of these factors are out of balance, your sleep is most likely to feel the deficit.
The Gut-Sleep Connection
Your microbiome, the community of bacteria in and on your body, including the all-important five pounds in your gut, influences your entire system…digestion, nutrient absorption, hormone balance, energy, immunity, weight, mood, and skin clarity. It also is pivotal when it comes to the quality of your sleep.
In fact, there is a symbiotic relationship between your microbiome and sleep. Crucial sleep-inducing neurotransmitters, like dopamine and serotonin, are developed and released in your gut. Melatonin is produced in the gut as well as the brain. And like sleep, our microbiome is affected by circadian rhythms. When our natural sleep process is disrupted, the health of your microbiome is compromised. A healthy gut and good sleep are intrinsically linked. Eat well and you’ll promote healthy sleep and solid sleep will keep your microbiome thriving.
Each new day offers an opportunity to encourage healthy microflora that will make your body energized and high-functioning by day and support healthy sleep each night.
Sources: S Life Magazine and Dr. Rubin Naimen