Get More Sleep - You Need It.

Though it may seem ordinary, sleep is actually one of the most powerful tools out there when it comes to wellness. It can completely change our mental reactivity, immune functions, and our skin health!

This is because sleep plays a huge role in keeping our brains healthy, which is the operational center of our entire body. So it pretty much directs everything else that goes on within our body. Without sleep, everything, and we mean everything goes awry.


Here’s why getting some extra Z’s in is the ultimate life hack for a healthier mind and body.





Sleep directly affects our mental health.


The emotional center of our brain is called the amygdala, and its activities can fluctuate depending on how much sleep we get. When we are sleep deprived, our amygdala can become more sensitive to negative stressors. Plus, it disrupts the connection between our amygdala and the medial prefrontal cortex

This connection is extremely important in regulating our emotions. When it’s out of whack, we find it hard to deal with stressful situations. This, unfortunately, makes us more prone to feeling anger, anxiety, and depression. 

A study found that out of 1000 adults, people with a history of insomnia were 4 times more likely to develop depression within 3 years of their first interview. And if you think that this is a chicken-and-egg situation, think again. Two other studies found that sleep problems often develop before the depression hit. 






Lack of sleep weakens our immune system

In addition to keeping us happier, healthy sleep also helps us fight diseases on a daily basis. Just one night of sleep deprivation can result in a 70% reduction in natural killer cell activity. Since our natural killer cells are extremely important for fighting infections, sleep deprivation kills our immune system and makes us more susceptible to viral diseases. 


This affects our skin barrier health

As the largest organ of our body, our skin is very closely connected to our mental and physical health. When our body is under attack, our skin reflects that change by becoming more reactive.

You’ve probably heard of the stress hormone, cortisol. This is what gets released when we’re stressed out mentally or physically to help our bodies recover. But abnormally high levels of cortisol over a prolonged period of time can lead to the break down of collagen in our skin. As a result, our skin barrier suffers, and our skin can easily lose hydration and become more sensitive.

Our skin depends on a strong barrier to retain moisture and repair itself. When its own defense mechanism is down, it is unable to function properly no matter what products you put on it. This is why sleeping a lot usually translates to more hydrated and plump skin!


Tips for Improving Your Sleep

 

Turn down the lights:
Our bodies are used to getting sleepier as the day gets darker. Dim your lights as it gets close to your bedtime to let your natural sleepiness kick in.

 

Exercise regularly: 
By extending your body more physically, your body will be more ready to rest when bedtime comes. This will help you fall asleep more easily and deeply. 

 

Set a routine:
Having a long-term and sustainable schedule for sleeping is one of the best ways to improve your sleep quality. Figure out a sleep schedule that you can keep, then find time to relax before your bedtime.

 

Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to a more positive mind, a healthier body, and better skin!