Did you know your body has a clock? Yes, each body as an internal “clock” which controls when you're awake and when your body is ready for sleep. This clock, known as the circadian rhythm, typically follows a 24-hour repeating cycle called the circadian rhythm (Besedovsky et al, 2015).
Sleep is the dedicated time in this cycle for the body to heal and recover. Consistent sleep strengthens the immune system, while lack of sleep can disturb the immune system. For optimal health, adult should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep (Watson et al, 2015).
Here are 3 tips to catch more Zzzs:
- Decrease alcohol consumption - Drinking alcohol at any rate is shown to disruption sleep quality. Aim to avoid alcohol at least 6 hours before sleeping.
- Have a nighttime ritual – If you have trouble falling asleep, crafting a wind-down routine can help signal to your body it’s time for bed. This ritual should start 30 minutes before you even lay down.
- Avoid blue light before bed - The light from these devices can also suppress your natural production of melatonin. As much as possible, try to disconnect for 30 minutes or more before going to bed. Many phones have built in sleep hygiene apps in that decrease notifications based on your schedule.
- Besedovsky L, Lange T, Haack M. The Sleep-Immune Crosstalk in Health and Disease. Physiol Rev. 2019;99(3):1325-1380. doi:10.1152/physrev.00010.2018
- Watson NF, Badr MS, Belenky G, et al. Recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult: a joint consensus statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society. Sleep. 2015;38(6):843–844.
- Touitou Y, Reinberg A, Touitou D. Association between light at night, melatonin secretion, sleep deprivation, and the internal clock: Health impacts and mechanisms of circadian disruption. Life Sci. 2017;173:94-106. doi:10.1016/j.lfs.2017.02.008