Sleep is not a waste of time.
I was talking with my 14 year old son the other day and he said, “Mom, I wish I didn’t have to waste time sleeping.” I first acknowledged his statement and then said, “Ask any 40 year old, Logan, they will tell you how beautiful sleeping really is. And you know why? Because we don’t get much.” He replied, “Yeah, ok, I don’t get it. What a waste. I could be doing so many other things.” So, this blog is for him and anyone who thinks the same thing.
ZZZZZZ……oh glorious sleep. Why is it so important and not a waste of time?
So many reasons but a big one is that when you sleep, this is when your body repairs and recovers from pretty much everything: digestion, wear and tear, free radical damage….the list goes on. According to the National Sleep Foundation when describing the deep sleep state or N3:
N3 (formerly “stages 3 and 4”)
- Deepest and most restorative sleep
- Blood pressure drops
- Breathing becomes slower
- Muscles are relaxed
- Blood supply to muscles increases
- Tissue growth and repair occurs
- Energy is restored
- Hormones are released, such as: Growth hormone, essential for growth and development, including muscle development
REM (25% of night): First occurs about 90 minutes after falling asleep and recurs about every 90 minutes, getting longer later in the night
- Provides energy to brain and body
- Supports daytime performance
- Brain is active and dreams occur
So whether you like to sleep or not, your body sure does.
But some people have trouble sleeping. Maybe they can’t fall asleep easily. Maybe they can’t stay asleep. Maybe they have an injury or pain and cannot get comfortable. There are so many factors. Who is at risk and what does it mean for their health if they don’t get adequate sleep?
NIH, The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute is very clear on this:
Sleep deficiency, which includes sleep deprivation, affects people of all ages, races, and ethnicities. Certain groups of people may be more likely to be sleep deficient. Examples include people who:
- Have limited time available for sleep, such as caregivers or people working long hours or more than one job
- Have schedules that conflict with their internal body clocks, such as shift workers, first responders, teens who have early school schedules, or people who must travel for work
- Make lifestyle choices that prevent them from getting enough sleep, such as taking medicine to stay awake, abusing alcohol or drugs, or not leaving enough time for sleep
- Have undiagnosed or untreated medical problems, such as stress, anxiety, or sleep disorders
- Have medical conditions or take medicines that interfere with sleep
The institute has some eye-opening info on what kinds of health issues can pop up over time when you are sleep deprived. Read the whole article here:
Is there anything that can help with this? Oh yes!
One of the simplest and easiest ways you can catch some more zzzz’s is to take 1-2 tablespoons of concentrated cherry juice an hour or two before bed. Why? According to a study documented in PubMed:
Research indicates that Montmorency tart cherry juice may help improve the quality and duration of sleep, reduce the severity of insomnia and increase overall sleep efficiency.
We all know the importance of sleep – but what you might not know is that being tired isn’t just about feeling grumpy. While a restful night can lead to a more productive day, inadequate sleep is linked to health problems like weight gain and high blood pressure. So it’s crucial to prioritize sleep.
To help them do so, many people turn to sleep aids, including melatonin pills. With Montmorency tart cherries, however, they may have a natural remedy to promote sleep that also tastes good.
Tart cherries are one of the few natural sources of melatonin, which is responsible for the regulation of the body’s internal clock and sleep-wake cycle. Researchers believe it’s the combination of melatonin and the anthocyanins in Montmorency tart cherries that might help you sleep better at night.
A look at the evidence.
- Increases sleep time: A new study found that drinking Montmorency tart cherry juice twice a day for two weeks helped increase sleep time by nearly 90 minutes among older adults with insomnia. Read more on this study here.
- Improves sleep quality and duration: Adults who drank two servings of Montmorency tart cherry juice concentrate each day for seven days slept about 40 minutes longer on average and had up to a 6 percent increase in sleep efficiency, compared to the participants who drank another beverage.
Want to give cherry juice a try but not sure where to get the best brand? Want some help? Comment below and someone from YHH will get right back to you to point you in the right direction.