We’ve all been there: sleep deprived and running on empty. The thing about sleep is that is affects all aspects of our wellbeing. Getting enough sleep helps protect not only our physical wellbeing but our cognitive capacities and performance as well.
How sleep affects us:
Brain: As a student, I always took school and studying very seriously. One thing I learned the hard way was that sleep trumps all when it comes to learning new information and performing my best academically. While you sleep, your brain cements new information, forms and consolidates memories, and clears up damaging molecules associated with neurodegeneration. Sleep helps us pay better attention in work or at school, helps us make smart decisions and increases our creative capacities. Without sufficient sleep, studies show we have more trouble making decisions, solving problems and controlling our behavior.
Physical: Continual sleep deficiency is linked to increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and obesity. One thing I know about most intimately from my master’s thesis at Columbia University was that without adequate sleep, our hunger hormones become unbalanced. The hormone ghrelin increases causing us to feel hungry, while leptin, our satiety hormone, decreases. Overall, this has been shown to lead to greater energy intake than we may physically need.
Performance: Finally, getting enough sleep is good for our performance and safety. Car crashes become increasingly more common with lack of sleep and our ability to pay attention in school and work, drastically declines. Studies show that those who sleep well, do better on tests and perform better at work.
So what is the magic number of hours we should be sleeping? Research suggests 7-8.
There are some practices that can help enhance sleep quality and help promote a good night’s rest. As a nutritionist, I am always looking for food solutions to help with obtaining a deeper night’s sleep and fighting occasional insomnia. I’ve been an herbal tea junkie my whole life and I love finding new blends when I travel. Drinking tea is a relaxing way to start and end your day.
When WelleCo sent me their Sleep Welle Fortified Valerian Tea, I first fell in love with their lavender caddy. I am a sucker for lavender- anything. The color and scent evokes calm to me. I thought it would make a sweet gift as well.
Once I brewed myself a cup, the Sleep Welle tea instantly put me at ease. Their tea contains valerian root which is an herb shown to enhance sleep quality. I am quite picky when it comes to my herbal teas. I don’t like the flavor to be overpowering, too pungent or too sweet. Thankfully, this tea was none of that.
Thank you WelleCo for sponsoring this post.