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Sleep

Why sleep is important

◦ Many restorative processes take place whilst we sleep

◦ We sleep in cycles and stages

◦ Getting enough quality sleep can significantly improve health

 

“Long-term memory formation is a major function of sleep”

Klinzing JG et al

 

What is sleep?

Spending around a third of our lives doing it, sleep is one of the most important functions we do. Yet many of us do not fully appreciate just how vital getting a good night's rest is. According to surveys conducted nationwide the average sleep time in the UK is approximately 6hr 20min.

 

Although this may sound like a normal amount (though still short for most) it is also worth noting that in western countries as many as 50% of people experience insomnia, which is heavily linked to other health conditions.

 

Sleep is also personalised and not everyone requires the same amount to be healthy. To operate at your fullest capacity, it is important to understand what sleep is, why you need it and how to be better at it.

CBd & Sleep

Sleep Cycle

Although you experience sleep as one continuous process (if you’re lucky), the body and mind actually go through sleep in cycles. Each cycle lasts approximately between 90-110 minutes and on average you go through 4-5 cycles. Once one cycle is finished another begins. Simple. Or is it?

 

Each cycle can be broken down further into 4 stages. The length of each stage can vary, depending on the cycle.

Changeover period where the body relaxes and prepares for sleep.

REM is short for Rapid Eye Movement.

This stage makes up the bulk of our sleep accounting for 40-60% of total sleep time.

It is also the phase where memory from the day is processed and moved from the short-term storage to long-term storage part of your brain.

This is when the body repairs your muscles and tissues, stimulates growth and development, boosts immune function, and builds up energy for the next day. This stage usually lasts between 60-120 minutes.

The stage when your dreams occur and usually lasts between 90-120 minutes with most dreaming taking place just before you wake up.

Once each stage has occurred and a cycle has concluded, another cycle begins. If you wake up in between a cycle you are likely to feel tired and groggy as your brain is still trying to go through the sleep cycle. The only way to break the cycle is to finish it and wake up naturally OR a cold shower.

How can sleep affect you?

Research suggests that regular poor sleep puts you at risk of serious medical conditions, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes- and it shortens your life expectancy.

On top of that, it makes you feel moody, irritable and slow in your reactions, thinking and decision making. Furthermore, a recent study showed that poor sleep can lead to short-term memory loss.

Now, here’s what a good amount of sleep can do for you

A good night's rest can help you fight off colds and flus as well as any other infection.

A good night's rest can help you feel good mentally and emotionally. When you enter a state of feeling good, you behave rationally and not in a reactionary way that can lead to irritability .

As sleep is involved in many physical restorative processes that take place mostly in the deep sleep phase, it is no surprise that enough sleep can help heal you on a physical level. Sleep has been shown to prevent both heart disease and diabetes.

Research suggests that men and women who get a good nights rest have and increased sex drive and libido.

Studies have shown that people who sleep less than 7 hours, gain more weight and are more likely to become obese than people who sleep 7 hours.

A good night's rest aids muscle repair and recovery which is ideal if you live a fast-paced, active lifestyle.

How to get better sleep?

This section will outline some ideas and advice that are evidence-based and backed by scientific research. These counselling points are to be used to help you create your own personalised sleep routine/ritual. You do not need to do all of these things, so try and experiment with a few at a time and create a sleep diary to track your progress.

 

If you feel as though a method may not be working then change it and test another. However, give enough time before chopping and changing as it may take some time for your body to adjust to this new habit. But once it does it may harmonise your mind and body in such a way that sleep will come to you effortlessly and you will wake up fresher and filled with more energy than before.

Establish what times are best suited for you and stick to sleeping and waking up at the same time every day including weekends. This programmes your brain and internal body clock to get used to a routine.

Based on research: Very likely to help

 

Light stretches and yoga can relax the body and mind by releasing tension in the muscles.

Based on evidence: likely to help

Mindfulness meditation can help release stress and anxiety and calm the mind.

Based on evidence: likely to help

Also apply blue light filter

Based on evidence: very likely to help

No food or caffeine at least 3 hours before bed

Based on evidence: very likely to help

CBD & Sleep

Studies show that CBD may help improve sleep quality, decrease sleep disturbances and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. There are many possible explanations for this and further research is required to pinpoint exactly how this works. For more information on what we do know thus far, visit the CBD section.

Dosing instructions:

Instil 1-2 drops of a suitable strength oil under the tongue and hold for 60-90 seconds. Do this 1-2 hours before planning on going to bed. visit the CBD dosing section for more info.

More Information

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