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?


 

BTW: Another iON Suggested Read: How to Sleep Better: Mastering the Art of Feeling Less Tired ~ Slumbersecrets


 

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.

For a detailed explanation of the sleep cycle and its functions see our fact sheet entitled The Sleep Cycle.


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 Cari