Updated: May 4
When it comes to sleep, establishing a routine is critical. Sleep-wake cycles are for the brain what your transmission is for your car. Further, sleep issues are often associated with dementia and may very well be a catalyst for dementia onset and severity.
In this day and age, a lot of people are simply going to bed whenever they crash or whenever their kids or life demands allow them to crash. When they wake up, it’s rarely of their own accord. Instead, they tend to wake up to loud alarm clocks blaring at them, somebody else waking them up, or something else like the dog jumping on the bed.
Sleep routines are critically important for brain function and it can be as simple as setting a time to go to bed and a time to wake up, then sticking with it to make it a part of your regular routine. Establishing a routine helps your body find homeostasis with hormone production, regulating blood pressure, as well as other things like the glymphatic system which removes toxins from the brain while you sleep.
This is often easier said than done. Family life, career demands, pets, and a lot of other distractions can make it challenging to establish a set sleep routine.
There’s no magic number for the number of hours you need to get each night, although 7-9 hours is a good rule of thumb. The brain needs a good solid two to three deep sleep cycles per night and you can’t do that if you’re only getting three or four hours of sleep per night.
The key is to listen to your body. Ideally, you want to establish a sleep routine where you’re falling asleep easily at a set time and when you wake up in the morning you feel energized, alert, and ready to face the day.
Some people might only need six hours of sleep while other people might need eight or even ten hours! There are some people that meditate quite regularly and the deep state training involved in the process means they may only require five or so hours of sleep each night.
Sleep science is constantly changing as research reveals more and more of the positive benefits of sleep and how to incorporate a positive sleep routine in your daily life. What it boils down to is the routine that is best for you, your body, and what makes you feel the most rested.
Contributor Author: Dr. Michael Trayford is a Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist and Founder of APEX Brain Centers in Asheville, NC. For additional information, and to learn more, please visit our Author's page.
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