Having full-time work, a family to take care of, hanging out with friends, and finding the time for gym leaves sleep a luxury for many. Lack of sleep, for some, seems to be a source of pride and a kind of bragging rights. But sleep deprivation can harm the body clock and cause problems. From its immediate effects of feeling groggy, sluggish, unfocused and feeling overtired to overly emotional and starving that may lead to many serious health conditions.
In 1942, the average sleep was 8 hours but then in 2013, the average was down to 6.8 hours. According to the worldwide statistics, data shows that Japan, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, India and the Philippines are the worst sleepers in order. Japan with an average of 5 hours and 59 minutes of sleep.
Common Dangers of Lack of Sleep to the body?
- Lower Immune System - Sleep and the immune system always go hand in hand. Catching every cold and flu that's going around you means that you have deprived yourself with a night of good sleep. Lack of sleep for a prolonged period of time can disrupt and weaken your immune system.
- Cognitive impairment -Lack of sleep in a workplace can be easily seen in the reduced productivity and efficiency, errors and accidents and it takes a toll on perception and judgment of the person. It can even be deadly in the case of drowsy driving.
- Weight Gain - A study in 2004 by Spiegel et al. found that restraining 12 healthy men from 10 to 4 hours of sleep for two days resulted in a lowering of hormones involved of feeling "full" after eating called leptin and increasing hormones involved in stimulating hunger called ghrelin. These hormonal changes are the reason for weight gain.
- Increased risk of diabetes - According to more than ten studies, there is a greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes to those people who sleep deprived as the proper blood sugar regulation of our body is highly dependent on getting the right amount of sleep.
Top 5 Essential Oils for Better Sleep
Essential oils are one of the natural sleep aids used by many today. Mainly because the majority of the studies found that there are virtually no side effects when people use essential oils for sleep.
So here are our top 5 essential oils as Lavender on top 1 as the most commonly studied essential oil for better night's sleep:
Lavender is never a sir[rose to be on top of the list as lavender is recognized for its relaxing and calming effects. Backed up by studies, diffusing or inhaling lavender essential oil or including them on your bath salts, massage oils, and pillow spray has relaxing effects that can induce sleep.
- Roman Chamomile
Known for it's soothing, calming and relaxing properties, Roman Chamomile essential oil has a sweet light floral aroma that is often used for sleep. Using a diffuser, add a few drops and enjoy a peaceful atmosphere in your bedroom. Apply a couple of drops diluted in a carrier oil to the bottom of your feet before sleeping.
The warm, earthy and woody scent of cedarwood is calming and relaxing, that many use it topically or put it in the diffuser for a comforting environment after a busy day. Cedarwood can stimulate our pineal gland that produces natural sleepy hormones necessary for sleep regulation called melatonin. Some people prefer using Cedarwood than Lavender but some find is better if they are together. Blend well and apply to the bottoms of feet, cover with socks and enjoy a good night sleep.
- Ylang Ylang
The name Ylang ylang means "flowers of flowers". Its floral scent that helps to balance both energies of male and female, supports focus and promotes peace. Which is why it has been historically used to cover the beds of honeymooner couples on their wedding night. Delight yourself by diffusing 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime of throughout the night. Ylang Ylang essential oil can be overpowering, so you only need a small amount of it to enjoy its flowery and a little bit fruity smell.
Marjoram is known as the “herb of happiness” to the Romans and “joy of the mountains” to the Greeks that brings a slightly spicy and warm aroma that helps release emotional stress and trauma. Marjoram essential oil is steam distilled from leaves. This oil has sleep-inducing effects that are extremely soothing and relaxing to the nerves. Blend 1-2 drops marjoram essential oil with a bit of coconut oil and apply it evenly to the back of your neck below your hairline. Find which essential oil works for you. Since every individual is different, essential oil or blend that might work for others, might not do a thing for you. The trick is doing a little bit of trial and error, and once you find your magic combo, you'll be able to go straight your dreamland.
Lifestyle Changes for Better Sleep
- Have a regular bedtime
Regular routine before going to bed will tell that you are about to sleep, such as reading a book, writing a journal, meditating or praying.
- No electronics in bed
Research shows that using phones or any electronic gadget that emits blue light while trying to fall asleep can actually wake you up by disrupting melatonin. Best challenging advice to give you an uninterrupted sleep is to not having any electronic gadget inside the bedroom.
- Taking a warm bath
Warm baths alone relax our body. But you may add Epsom Salts to your bath, as these salts are rich in magnesium that when these salts are dissolved in warm water, magnesium is absorbed through the skin. This mineral helps to promote rest and relaxation to your body.
- Regular exercise and sunlight
Regular exercise is beneficial to your sleep. Exercising before bedtime can wake you by ramping up your metabolism and body temperature. Expose yourself to sunlight in the morning to keep your internal clock in balance. Sunlight naturally tells your body to wake up.
- No caffeine after 4 pm
Drinking coffee can make you stay alert. But drinking them later in the day can cause havoc on your sleep schedule.
The content on this website has not been evaluated by the FDA or The Food and Drug Administration or any other medical institution. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. All the information found on this blog is for educational purposes only. Consult your doctor before executing on any content on this blog most especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication or having a medical condition.