A healthy sleep cycle is crucial for your well-being. In fact, it’s as essential as eating healthy and exercising. However, many things can interfere with your natural sleep cycle. People are sleeping less than in the past, and the quality of sleep has also decreased. Although many get satisfactory outcomes using light therapy for sleep.
Why you need a healthy sleep cycle
- A healthy sleeping cycle improves memory. Sleep cycle plays a vital role in memory consolidation, which helps to strengthen your memory. Even when you nap, your brain is surprisingly busy processing his learning for the day, making connections between events, feelings, and memories. Quality sleep cycle helps you process and remember things better.
- An irregular sleep cycle affects weight. Lack of sleep can affect the hormonal balance in the body, which affects your appetite. Lack of sleep induces higher levels of ghrelin, the appetite-stimulating hormone, and lowers levels of leptin, the appetite-suppressing hormone, causing cravings for high-calorie foods. To uphold or lose weight, be sure to get at least seven hours of sleep a day.
- Quality sleep can improve your focus and productivity. You may know sleep is important for various aspects of brain function. This includes cognition, focus, productivity, and performance. All of these are negatively affected by the lack of sleep. A study of medical interns is a good example. Students who followed a traditional schedule with an extended schedule of more than 24 hours made 36% more serious medical errors than interns who followed a schedule that allowed them to sleep more. Besides, sleeping well has been shown to improve problem-solving skills and improve memory performance in children and adults.
- A good sleep cycle benefits a healthier heart. Insomnia is often associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease and stroke. A good seven-hour sleep cycle strengthens and strengthens your heart.
- A healthy sleep cycle can improve your immune function. Poor sleep has been shown to impair immune function. A large two-week study followed the development of the common cold after giving people with the cold virus nose drops. They discovered that those who had a sleep of fewer than 7 hours had 3 times more possibility to develop a cold than those who had a sleep of eight hours or more. If you have a frequent cold, then you must make sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. Eating more garlic can also help.
- Lack of sleep worsens depression. Poor sleep can contribute to depression. Sleeping well has a positive impact on the production of serotonin in our body, which helps us fight depression. A regular sleep pattern is essential for your mental health and peace of mind.
- Rejuvenate your body while you sleep. Lack of sleep often results in lethargy, weaker grip strength, and poor physical performance the next day. Losing sleep also reduces your social interaction skills. Sleep helps refresh and rejuvenate your body during the 7-hour cycle so you can feel cleaner and more active the next day.
- Sleep affects emotions and social interactions. Losing sleep reduces your ability to interact socially. Several studies have confirmed this using emotional facial recognition tests. One study found that people who had not slept had a condensed ability to distinguish expressions of rage and happiness.
How genetics can define your sleep needs
We are all a product of genetics. In terms of sleep, this means that some people have certain genetics. That means they can survive sleeping 5 to 6 hours a night without experiencing any side effects, although we don’t generally recommend it. For an average human being, 7–9 hours is appropriate.
The flip side is that genetics can also make some of us more sensitive when it comes to sleep deprivation. So what can we do with our genes? In short, not much. Just listen to what your body is telling you and try to develop the sleep cycle that makes you feel better.
Light therapy for a healthy sleep cycle
Our sleep cycles are administered by our internal biological clock. Researchers have shown that exposure to outside light is essential for maintaining our internal biological clock. With the modern lifestyle, most adults spend the day indoors under artificial light. This leaves them in a state of deficiency in light, the interior lights are not bright enough to imitate that of the suns. This inadvertently affects the functioning of our internal biological clock.
Additionally, the hormone melatonin in the body helps to promote drowsiness in the body and maintains the sleep cycle. Melatonin, which acts as a marker for its circadian phase or its biological synchronisation, is deactivated by bright light. Reducing melatonin will obviously affect your sleep.
This is where light therapy comes in. It is usually given to people with circadian rhythm sleep disorders. Laser light can help reset your biological clock so you can return to your normal sleep cycle and lead a normal life.
Light therapy is very straightforward and involves exposing the eyes to strong but safe amounts of light for a specific and regular period of time. This artificial light mimicked outside light and affected the biological clock in the same way as sunlight. It uses visible light and filters ultraviolet light.
The most common way to administer light therapy is to use a light box. This form of therapy has been shown to be more effective in restoring patients’ sleep patterns. Light therapy is also used for people with jet lag, as it speeds up their ability to adapt to the new time zone.
Image credit: Freepik
Peter Wallace has been an advocate for mental health awareness for years. He holds a master’s degree in counselling from the University of Edinburgh.