The importance of sleep

Sleep is as important as breathing and eating! If sleep is compromised the human body will be affected in many ways, one being possible health issues that could have been prevented. An individual should get at least 8 hours of sleep each night to be healthy and balanced. Someone who is ill or healing should get as much sleep as their bodies need. Sleep allows your body to rejuvenate and restore so that you are not pushing your body beyond it’s limits. Looking back I know I pushed myself beyond my limits for far too long which made my already existing health issues exacerbated.

When I quit my job I was sleeping 14 hours each night and that lasted for over 5 months.  I obviously needed it and I slept as much as I could because I couldn’t stay awake or wake to an alarm, I viewed it as my body was telling me that this much sleep is important during this healing process. I still on occasion will sleep 14 hours a night but mostly 10 hours a night and wake on my own and need a nap during the day sometimes for up to 3 hours. Not sure if 3 hours is considered a nap but I’m going to go with it.

It’s a proven fact that women need more sleep than men and I do notice this in many of the husband and wife relationships I hear about. Whether this pertains to you or not it is something to think about and consider a factor in your lifestyle that you may not have thought of before.  There are so many factors that can affect your nightly REM sleep and there are many factors that can aid in getting to sleep and staying asleep for those well deserved rejuvenating hours.

Beneficial:

  • biofeedback
  • meditation
  • yoga
  • bath
  • read
  • certain teas
  • deep breathing
  • diet ~ healthy
  • exercise
  • consistency/schedule
  • temperature
  • mattress/pillow
  • etc

Hindrances:

  • electronics
  • tv
  • pregnancy
  • menopause
  • brain injuries
  • worrying
  • stress
  • children (babies)
  • caffeine/alcohol
  • sleep apnea
  • diet ~ unhealthy
  • autoimmune diseases
  • sleep disorders
  • chronic pain
  • chronic illnesses
  • restless leg syndrome
  • etc

They are all self explanatory and loads of helpful information can be found online by professional sites for you to peruse to find which is best for your individual needs. WebMD and MayoClinic are my go to sites for trusted, accurate medical information provided by doctors only! There is always a solution to a problem, it is up to you to solve those issues because you know your body best! I knew I had to find the solution to my health issues but mine where complex, multi faceted and intertwined in a connected way that sleep or lack there of, was the least of my worries. When I quit my job, was when I found healing in sleep!

The body repairs itself while sleeping, the human body needs to restore and rejuvenate for proper brain function, hormone (cortisol), tissue and muscle repair, blood supply, and breathing are all affected in a healthy way when our bodies reach REM sleep.  It is important to reach all stages of the sleeping process in order to get the restorative benefits of sleep and it is just as important to avoid interrupted sleep. Quality is just as important as quantity! Below are three good articles for further reading on how sleep and IBD have a connection.

How Sleep Affects Crohn’s Disease and Digestion

Sleep and Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Exploring the Relationship Between Sleep Disturbances and Inflammation

Sleep disturbances and inflammatory bowel disease: a potential trigger for disease flare?

Autoimmune Disorders and Sleep Problems

~Andrea

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