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Sömn Celebrates Sleep Awareness Month

Did you know World Sleep Day is celebrated on March 15th? March is generally recognized as the Month of Sleep, with organizations like the National Sleep Foundation reemphasizing the importance of restful sleep.

We know the connection between sleep and health is real. To celebrate the month of March, we wanted to share some valuable research-based advice on the benefits of good sleep hygiene. It turns out that cultivating good sleep habits doesn't just impact physical health; it is inextricably linked to wellness.

There is a big connection between sleep and emotional well-being.

Sleep is part of our overall health, with quality and quantity deeply connected to our mental and emotional well-being. During the sleep cycle, our body and mind undergo restorative processes. This varies from repairing and rejuvenating our bodies on the cellular level to consolidating memories, processing emotions, and purging toxins from the brain. Good sleep not only improves skills like learning and attention, but it also helps us to better process our emotions.

Without enough quality sleep, it can be challenging to function. It becomes harder to process daily thoughts and cope with stress. Many people feel more impacted and prone to focus on negativity.

Think about the last time you slept poorly. Did you experience fatigue and irritability? Many of us feel challenged dealing with our emotions. When we're tired and irritable, it's easier to slip into a state of stress, anxiety, and worry. Researchers have found that lack of sleep or poor sleep quality, even for a few nights, is associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms.

Conversely, good sleep has the opposite benefits. We feel recharged and ready to face the day. Life runs smoothly. It's easier to process feelings and emotions, and everything feels better all around.

When the Government of Canada conducted a study on the lack of sleep affecting Canadians, they noted three key findings:

More sedentary time

Adults who get insufficient sleep report an average of 4.0 hours of sedentary time a day compared to an average of 3.5 hours for adults who get adequate sleep.

    Chronic stress

    36.3% of adults who get insufficient sleep report having chronic stress compared to 23.2% of adults who get adequate sleep.

      Poor mental health

      12.3% of adults who get insufficient sleep report having poor mental health compared to 5.8% of adults who get adequate sleep.

        To improve sleep hygiene, the National Sleep Foundation has a few recommendations that are linked to both good sleep and mental health.

        - Spend time in bright light during the day--natural light or equivalent brightness. 
        - Exercise regularly—aim for 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
        - Eat meals at consistent times every day.
        - Use a consistent routine with a relaxing wind-down—adults should target 7–9 hours of sleep per night.
        - Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
        - Put electronic devices away an hour before bed and sleep in a quiet, cool, dark environment.
        - Stay away from heavy meals, nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime.

          Make sleep a priority to promote better brain health, emotional well-being, and physical vitality. After trying some basic steps, don't be afraid to seek a doctor's advice if sleep continues to be challenging. With so many benefits, even a tiny change could be well worth your time. Go ahead—sleep on it. 

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