In this fast Western society, we are constantly linked to the connection and available 247, we have information about us daily and there is a growing expectation for us to respond instantly. Given all this, a growing need that we can exploit or operate in terms of mental health not only at “normal” or “acceptable” levels, but “optimal” levels.
Optimal means that we operate at the highest levels mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, so that we are able to deal with the demands of life. If we operate at the suboptimal level, it is much more difficult for us to even perform the basic functions of life.
So, how can we ensure that our levels of health and well-being are what they should be?
An essential contributory factor for mental health and long-term mental well-being is to ensure that we have 7 to 9 hours of good quality sleep per night.
Sleep repairs the body. This has a positive impact on how you function cognitively the following and following days. When we sleep, we sleep in 60 to 90 minutes cycles. Meanwhile, we oscillate between deep sleep (called Delta) where the body repairs itself and sleep lighter.
REM (fast movement) Sleep or sleep lighter, moves information from your short-term memory to your long-term memory. This helps you better remember information than you absorb daily. It is during this dum sleep phase that your eyes move quickly from one side to the other (hence the name) and you dream.
Block at the right time (ideally 22 hours) and have the right amount of sleep each night allows you to check your circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm is your natural body clock that gives you signals when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to wake up. Work work models (especially night shifts) can knock out this scale that can have major consequences not only for your mental and physical health, but also for your health.
The absence of good quality sleep means that, instead of being fully awake and energized during the day, you can find yourself sleepy, slow and unable to concentrate for a significant duration. In addition, when you’re in bed at night, you can feel “tired and wired” (which means that your body is physically tired, but your mind is big awake and you can not sleep).
Melatonin, the hormone that prepares your body to sleep and serotonin (your awake hormone) must be balanced to allow you to operate at your best day. This means that melatonin naturally starts from about 21H (to help you sleep) until about 7 o’clock in the morning when serotonin is released to take you through the day. When this melatonin, the serotonin cycle is in equilibrium, you are completely awake during the day and sleep at night (when you should be). It means you get a better night’s sleep.
So, do never underestimate the power of sleep if you value your health and well-being. Good Quality Sleep helps you not only work more efficiently, it also stimulates our immune system, helping to stay viruses and other infections that we are grabbing more easily with a lower level and sleep quality.