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Quality sleep is one of the key factors in our health

Quality sleep is one of the key factors in our health

Good quality sleep is important for rebuilding the body and improving brain function. Get enough sleep and your body will thank you.

Quality sleep is extremely important for the restoration of the body and improving brain function, but in today's constantly alert world, it is often neglected.

Why is sleep so important?

Sleep plays a crucial role in overall health and well-being throughout life. Well-being during wakefulness is partially dependent on what happens during sleep. During sleep, the body strives for healthy brain function and physical health maintenance.

The need for sleep varies for each individual, but the ideal sleep duration is 7-8 hours. Less than 6 hours or more than 10 hours of sleep per day is considered unhealthy. The average sleep duration is continuously decreasing, leading to significant problems for people who suffer from sleep deprivation.

Research shows that when we don't get enough sleep, it negatively affects our ability to concentrate, productivity, and stress management. Over time, sleep deprivation can lead to serious disorders and an increased risk of high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and depression.

If our body doesn't get enough sleep, it also impairs several functions of our brain, such as memory, learning ability, and responsiveness.

Good sleep is crucial for ensuring a quality life as it brings numerous benefits to our health:

  • It improves our resilience and immune responses (important for preventing infections, cancer, and other chronic non-communicable diseases, lowers blood pressure, and has a beneficial effect on the heart and cardiovascular system).
  • It strengthens various brain functions (including the ability to learn, remember, and make logical decisions and good choices).
  • It enhances our physical fitness and energy balance.
  • It positively influences our mental health and emotional well-being (enabling us to tackle social and mental challenges with clarity and sobriety).
  • It improves body metabolism (regulates insulin and glucose levels, appetite, and body weight, and maintains a rich gut microbiome).

Sleep is the most effective way to regulate daily physical and mental health in all life stages. Good sleep is a source of well-being and the foundation of a healthy lifestyle, and safety at work, and in traffic.

The impact of sleep on hormones

The body produces different hormones at various times of the day, which can be related to sleep patterns and circadian rhythms. In the morning, the body releases hormones that promote wakefulness, such as cortisol, which helps with awakening.

Melatonin is the hormone most known for its impact on sleep. During the day, its levels are low, but they increase after darkness sets in, leading to sleep. Melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland, which is connected to the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) via numerous synapses, regulating the circadian rhythm of melatonin production.

Other hormones have 24-hour patterns that change throughout life. For example, in children, hormones that dictate the release of testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone by the glands are produced in pulses during the night, and as puberty approaches, the pulses increase.

Good sleep depends not only on duration but also on sleep quality

Although sleep duration is important, it alone is not enough. Quality of sleep is crucial as well. Sleep is composed of cycles that repeat every 90-110 minutes. Each cycle can be divided into the following stages:

Non-REM stage:

  1. Light sleep: The first stage of sleep is light sleep, lasting around ten minutes. Muscle activity slows down, and we are in a semi-awake state, easily awakenable.
  2. True sleep: This stage lasts approximately 20 minutes, and breathing and heart rate slow down.
  3. Deep sleep: In the third stage of sleep, delta brainwaves appear, and heart rate and breathing slow down further. In the fourth stage, breathing becomes rhythmic, and muscle activity is largely reduced. Deep sleep lasts about 40 minutes, and it is the most difficult to wake.

In addition to the stages of non-REM sleep, there is also REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is characterized by rapid eye movements and vivid dreaming. REM sleep typically occurs after a period of non-REM sleep, and each REM sleep episode can last from a few minutes to over an hour.

During REM sleep, brain activity increases, and the body undergoes several physiological changes. The muscles become temporarily paralyzed, which prevents us from acting out our dreams. REM sleep is important for cognitive function, memory consolidation, and emotional regulation.

The sleep cycle repeats throughout the night, with each cycle typically lasting about 90 minutes. As the night progresses, the proportion of REM sleep increases, while deep sleep tends to decrease.

Tips for a good night's sleep

Exercise, but not too late

Exercise can promote relaxation and raise body temperature in ways that are beneficial for promoting and maintaining sleep. Make sure to stay awake for at least three hours after exercise before going to bed, as additional energy can keep you awake.

Watch your caffeine intake

We often enjoy a cup of coffee and never refuse a morning beverage, but afternoon, it's good to switch from coffee to tea. Caffeine has a half-life in the body, meaning it can provide a stimulating effect, but this stimulation can last a long time and even affect your sleep if consumed in the afternoon.

A natural energy drink is a herbal infusion of mate tea with added kombucha, collagen, and vitamin B12. Mate tea provides the desired caffeine, offering a sustained source of energy, mental clarity, and increased focus throughout the day.

In addition to coffee, be mindful of caffeine in black and green tea, cocoa, chocolate, non-alcoholic beverages, and many over-the-counter medications.

Manage stress

Stress and anxiety can cause insomnia. Try to relax through meditation, massage, yoga, or simply by taking a pleasant hot shower to "wash away worries." When you turn off the lights, take a moment to focus on three things you are grateful for.


One mineral, in particular, can almost instantly reduce the body's stress burden and improve the quality of your sleep.

Magnesium helps regulate blood sugar, optimize blood circulation and pressure, relax tense muscles, reduce pain, and calm the nervous system. However, since it has so many functions, our bodies can quickly deplete it.

Reduce alcohol consumption

Although a glass or two of wine may send you straight to bed, it doesn't result in "quality" sleep, which is essential for our health and well-being. Research shows that alcohol can cause longer periods of wakefulness or light sleep. While alcohol may provide a sense of relaxation, consuming too much before bed can disrupt sleep.

Block blue light

There is evidence that using screens right before bed can impact sleep. One reason is that the blue light emitted by these devices can affect the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that signals the body it's time to sleep.

Other reasons include the content on the screen. If you watch a scary movie, read an emotionally stimulating article, or engage with any other content that causes anxiety, it can affect your ability to fall asleep. Sleep specialists recommend removing all screens at least one hour before bedtime and engaging in light reading or other relaxing activities instead. It's also recommended to switch mobile devices to night mode or use an orange filter that blocks blue light after sunset.

Take care of your gut

Serotonin, produced in the gut, is a building block for the sleep hormone melatonin. In fact, serotonin and the health of your gut can influence your sleep more than you might realize.

By maintaining a healthy diet and supplementing with probiotics, you can work wonders for your sleep.


Tags: sleep health good sleep healthy body