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The Power of Sleep. Five things you can do to improve your quality of sleep.

Updated: Oct 23, 2021

DR. Sheyi Ojofeitimi, DPT, OCS, CFMT, CIDN

Ahhh…the joy of a good night’s rest or nap.

If only we could all get quality rest regularly, then the world would truly be a better place. I know it sounds cliché, but it is true! Short-term sleep deprivation can affect judgment, mood, ability to learn and retain information, and may increase the risk of serious accidents and injury. Long term sleep deprivation has been linked to a host of health problems including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even early mortality. This suggests that if we all slept well and enough we would be wiser, happier, healthier and have an overall better quality of life. Who doesn’t want that?



You see, sleep isn’t exactly a time when your body and brain shuts off. While you rest, your brain stays busy, overseeing a wide variety of biological processes that keep your body running in top condition and preparing you for the day ahead. Sleeping gives your body the opportunity to “Reset”. Without enough hours of restorative sleep, you won’t be able to work, learn, create, or communicate at a level even close to your true potential. If you regularly skimp on sleep, you’re headed for a major mental and physical breakdown.

Melatonin, the “sleep hormone”, is a hormone produced in the body that induces sleepiness and maintains the inherent sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin is also an antioxidant that can enter the central nervous system help with immunity, stress and the aging process. It has many other functions that I will not get into in this blog, but you can do investigate further using the references below.

Knowing how important sleep is for the human body, what can you do to improve your sleep quality?

Here is a list of 5 things with which you can start.

Five things you can do to improve the your quality of sleep.

  1. Give yourself enough time to get 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep daily.

  2. No caffeine, alcohol or smoking 6 hours before bed. All these stimulants linger in the body well after consumption and can affect sleep.

  3. End “screen time” 2 hours before bed. Studies show that watching TV or working on the computer suppresses melatonin production for that night.

  4. Get melatonin in your system: 3 to 5 Mg tablet of Melatonin or Cherry Juice Concentrate (CJC) 30 minutes before bed. See our fact sheet on CJC for more info.

  5. Sleep in a dark, cool & quiet space: Light inhibits melatonin production, so get light blocking blinds or thick curtains in your bedroom. Turn down temperature. Experts say that a cool room (65° or so) makes for the best sleep, and research backs this notion. The quiet space is self-explanatory.

References & suggested reading

  1. Dorsey CM, Lukas SE, Teicher MH, et al. Effects of Passive Body Heating on the Sleep of Older Female Insomniacs. Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology. 1996;9(2):83-90. doi:10.1177/089198879600900203

  2. Engin A. Circadian Rhythms in Diet-Induced Obesity. Obesity and Lipotoxicity Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. 2017:19-52. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-48382-5_2

  3. Germain A, Kupfer DJ. Circadian rhythm disturbances in depression. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental. 2008;23(7):571-585. doi:10.1002/hup.964

  4. Howatson G, Bell PG, Tallent J, Middleton B, Mchugh MP, Ellis J. Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality. European Journal of Nutrition. 2011;51(8):909-916. doi:10.1007/s00394-011-0263-7

  5. Hublin C, Partinen M, Koskenvuo M, Kaprio J. Sleep and Mortality: A Population-Based 22-Year Follow-Up Study. Sleep. 2007;30(10):1245-1253. doi:10.1093/sleep/30.10.1245

  6. Karatsoreos IN, Bhagat S, Bloss EB, Morrison JH, Mcewen BS. Disruption of circadian clocks has ramifications for metabolism, brain, and behavior. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2011;108(4):1657-1662. doi:10.1073/pnas.1018375108

  7. Karatsoreos IN. Effects of Circadian Disruption on Mental and Physical Health. Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports. 2012;12(2):218-225. doi:10.1007/s11910-012-0252-0

  8. Kim H-J, Lee Y, Sohng K-Y. The effects of footbath on sleep among the older adults in nursing home: A quasi-experimental study. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 2016;26:40-46. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2016.02.005

  9. Liao W-C, Wang L, Kuo C-P, Lo C, Chiu M-J, Ting H. Effect of a warm footbath before bedtime on body temperature and sleep in older adults with good and poor sleep: An experimental crossover trial. International Journal of Nursing Studies. 2013;50(12):1607-1616. doi:10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2013.04.006

  10. Nedelec M, Aloulou A, Duforez F, Meyer T, Dupont G. The Variability of Sleep Among Elite Athletes. Sports Medicine - Open. 2018;4(1). doi:10.1186/s40798-018-0151-

  11. Naumann J, Grebe J, Kaifel S, Sadaghiani C, Weinert T, Huber R. Effects of hyperthermic baths on depression, sleep and heart rate variability in patients with depressive disorder. A randomized controlled pilot trial. European Journal of Integrative Medicine. 2016;8:12. doi:10.1016/j.eujim.2016.08.031

  12. Rahmani A, Naseri M, Salaree MM, Nehrir B. Comparing the Effect of Foot Reflexology Massage, Foot Bath and Their Combination on Quality of Sleep in Patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome. Journal of Caring Sciences. 2016;5(4):299-306. doi:10.15171/jcs.2016.031

  13. Roberts RE, Duong HT. Is there an association between short sleep duration and adolescent anxiety disorders? Sleep Medicine. 2017;30:82-87. doi:10.1016/j.sleep.2016.02.007

  14. Roberts RE, Duong HT. The Prospective Association between Sleep Deprivation and Depression among Adolescents. Sleep. 2014;37(2):239-244. doi:10.5665/sleep.3388

  15. Simpson NS, Gibbs EL, Matheson GO. Optimizing sleep to maximize performance: implications and recommendations for elite athletes. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports. 2016;27(3):266-274. doi:10.1111/sms.12703

  16. Spichiger C, Torres-Farfan C, Galdames HA, Mendez N, Alonso-Vazquez P, Richter HG. Gestation under chronic constant light leads to extensive gene expression changes in the fetal rat liver. Physiological Genomics. 2015;47(12):621-633. doi:10.1152/physiolgenomics.00023.2015

  17. Sung E-J, Tochihara Y. Effects of Bathing and Hot Footbath on Sleep in Winter. Journal of PHYSIOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGY and Applied Human Science. 2000;19(1):21-27. doi:10.2114/jpa.19.21

  18. Varcoe TJ, Boden MJ, Voultsios A, Salkeld MD, Rattanatray L, Kennaway DJ. Characterisation of the Maternal Response to Chronic Phase Shifts during Gestation in the Rat: Implications for Fetal Metabolic Programming. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(1). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0053800

  19. Varcoe TJ, Wight N, Voultsios A, Salkeld MD, Kennaway DJ. Chronic Phase Shifts of the Photoperiod throughout Pregnancy Programs Glucose Intolerance and Insulin Resistance in the Rat. PLoS ONE. 2011;6(4). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0018504

  20. Zhai L, Zhang H, Zhang D. Sleep Duration And Depression Among Adults: A Meta-Analysis Of Prospective Studies. Depression and Anxiety. 2015;32(9):664-670. doi:10.1002/da.22386


More about Dr. Sheyi...

Dr. Sheyi Ojofeitimi, DPT, OCS, CFMT, CIDN – Dr. Sheyi is the Interim Director of Therapy Services at Alvin Ailey American Dance Foundation, CEO of Synthesis Physical Therapy and Co-Founder of Dance Ready Project. A licensed physical therapist for 20

years she works with Ailey School staff, students, Ailey II, Ailey I and has provided backstage coverage for several Broadway shows. For 10 years she was part of biomechanics team at the Analysis of Dance and Movement (ADAM) Center researching &

publishing about movement & injury patterns in dancers. She has authored/co-authored 18 journal articles and served as a reviewer for the Journal of Dance Medicine and Science.

Dr. Sheyi is a Certified Functional Manual Therapist (CFMT) and Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS). She has received advanced level training in the Thoracic Ring Approach and is also trained in visceral mobilization, craniosacral therapy, and integrative dry

needling (IDN). Dr. Sheyii is a specialist in the treatment of lumbo-pelvic/sacro-coccygeal dysfunctions and has a passionate interest in connection between dysbiosis (gut

dysfunction) and chronic pain/disease. Using a whole-body functional approach that incorporates nutrition, Dr. Sheyi treats each client as a unique individual.

More about Synthesis, Physical Therapy

Headquartered in New York City, but providing services internationally, Synthesis Physical Therapy (PT) was founded in 2012 and is a manual therapy based, physical therapist owned and operated practice. The founders of Synthesis PT, Sheyi Ojofeitimi, DPT, OCS, CFMT and Shaw Bronner, PT, PhD, OCS, over fifteen years of experience, treating private and corporate clients, athletes, and performing artists.

At Synthesis, we view the human body as a complex structure with many integrated parts. We believe neuromuscular disuse and chronic inflammation are often the primary causes of many musculoskeletal aches, pain, and injury. Our treatments are geared towards restoring the body’s internal (organs) and external (muscle, bone & joint) systems to efficient function. Client and therapist work 1:1 to develop a personalized plan aimed at whole body recovery. The result is minimization/elimination of painful symptoms and return to active lifestyle.


Are you Dance Ready?

The Dance Ready Project is your home for integrated dance research based health information, training and tools for success. We are dance medicine experts providing tangible solutions for dancers.

Connect with Synthesis Physical Therapy, tap below!

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