It’s World Sleep Day – How To Sleep For Better Health

World Sleep Day
Shonagh Walker

Lifestyle Writer

Mar 19, 2021

World Sleep Day, Friday February 19, 202, works to highlight exactly how sleep is imperative for so many reasons. And how loss of sleep can be detrimental to health.

“We are a nation of sleepless people” notes Australian Sleep Expert, Dr Carmel Harrington. “One in two of us are not getting the 7-9 hours that we need.”

In this article, our director of lifestyle, Shonagh Walker unravels to true importance of punching out the zzz’s, as well as offers some expert solutions for a better, longer night’s sleep.

It Improves Your Memory

According to The Sleep Foundation, “the process of preserving key memories and discarding excessive information – takes place during both the non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM) stages of your sleep cycle.

It Improves Your Heart Rate

A study published by the Harvard Health Publishing Harvard Medical School suggested getting regular, quality sleep could be linked to a healthier heart.

“During sleep, the stimulation of your nervous system is reduced and most of your body processes slow down,” says Dr. Lawrence Epstein, associate physician with the division of sleep and circadian disorders at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Within about five minutes after you drift off to sleep, your heart rate gradually slows to its resting rate as you enter what’s known as light sleep. Your body temperature drops and your muscles relax. People typically spend about half the night in light sleep. But during the next phase, deep sleep, your blood pressure falls and your heart rate slows to about 20% to 30% below your resting heart rate.

When you dream, you enter the sleep phase known as REM (also known as dreaming sleep). “Your heart rate can vary quite a bit during REM sleep because it reflects the activity level occurring in your dream. If your dream is scary or involves activity such as running, then your heart rate rises as if you were awake,” says Dr. Epstein.

It Helps You Maintain An Ideal Weight

Sleep has an impact on two hunger hormones in our body – Leptin (the one that makes you. feel satiated and full), and Grehlin is the hormone that is released to signal hunger. When you don’t get enough sleep, Your body makes more Ghrelin and less Leptin, leaving you hungry and increasing your appetite, and quite possibly making poor food choices on account of being so tired.

Who Doesn’t Want An afternoon Nap?

According to The Sleep Foundation, go for it!
“Homeostatic sleep drive is the feeling of when you need to sleep. It is synonymous with the hunger we feel for food the longer it is after our last meal. When we wake up from a good night’s sleep, your homeostatic sleep drive is low. The pressure slowly increases throughout the day until bedtime, when we feel sleepy. Sleeping at night decreases sleep pressure, and then the cycle begins again the next day.

Napping during the day diminishes homeostatic sleep drive, which can help us feel more awake and perform better. As a result, napping can help with:

So, if you’re WFH or can sneak in a midday nap in the sick bay – go for it. it can be just as beneficial as the walk you take around the park!

But I’m Always Fatigued

Remember that fatigue is a symptom of an illness. It isn’t an illness itself. If you feel constantly Fatigued, not well rested after a good sleep, or you are having sleep issues, see you GP who can refer you for specialist advice. Fatigue is a symptom, not a disease, and it’s experienced differently by different people. Fatigue from stress or lack of sleep usually subsides after a good night’s rest, while other fatigue is more persistent and may be debilitating even after restful sleep.

How To Create A Blissful Sleep Environment

“A sleep routine is very important,” Says Dr. Carmel, “One hour before bedtime, switch off technology, dim the lights in the room, and reach for sleep inducing essential oils. This act of switching off allows our body to recognise when it’s time for sleep. Our brain responds so well to environmental stimulators, so when diffusing essential oils at this time, our body gets ready to quiet down and enter the nurturing and nourishing phase.”

Dr Carmel also suggests embracing essential oils, in particular Lavender, Mandarin, Roman Chamomile and Valerian; a delicate mix of sleep-inducing oils that are renowned for their sedative, analgesic and antispasmodic action. “Theses oils help to calm the mind and body,”


In Essence ie: Sleep Essential Oil Blend
A light room or body mist infused with a calming blend of essential oils. Lightly spritz on chest and back, or spray into the air and inhale.

In Essence ie: Sleep Essential Oil Roll On This convenient, easy-to-use essential oil blend is combined in a nourishing carrier oil base for simple application. Apply a small amount to the abdomen, chest and back, or to the wrist and inhale.

Yoka Heart Calm Balm simply massage on to temples, wrists and other pulse points for a calming sleep.

Oil Garden Sleep Assist Pure Essential Oil Blend is wonderful when sprinkled over fresh bedlinen, or added to your bath.


By Shonagh Walker

Lifestyle Writer

Shonagh Walker is a multi-award-winning lifestyle writer and author specialising in beauty, health, fashion, travel, pets and animals. Her career spans over 30 years, and she can't recall a day during that time, where she hasn't been excited to get to work!


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