We need sleep, like we need food and water. On average, it is commonly said that adults require 7-9 hours un-interrupted sleep every night. Is silence important for a healthy nights sleep? A day before World Sleep Day, we discuss the impact noise can have on sleep, and the detriments of poor quality sleep.
Why is sleep so important you ask?
- Modulates your hormonal balance.
- Regulates your glucose levels.
- Lowers your blood pressure.
- Replenishes your cardiovascular system.
- Consolidates your memory.
- Inhibits the release of stress hormone Cortisol.
- Sets you up for a healthy appetite.
- Strengthens your immune system.
...and the list goes on!
Sleep deprivation is commonly associated with mood disorders and depression. It is clear to us all that it is an essential ingredient to our mental health.
Numerous scientific studies elucidate that sleep can be significantly disturbed by environmental noise pollution. Yes, noise is a form of pollution and can be detrimental to your health, just like toxic gases seeping into the air.
While you are in REM sleep, you are processing your busy day at work, as well as the noise of the traffic that may be coming from outside your window.
Your unexpected illnesses or ailments may be stemming from simple sleep disturbances. Though, do not fret. The good news is that it there are ways to overcome this problem.
If you are dealing with constant noise outside of your window, and double glazing won't cut it, consider listening to sleep hypnosis videos on youtube, or sound clips of Binaural Beats, which can help guide you into a calm state.
Sleep disturbances are not always external, they can also be internal, in the mind. For those suffering with anxiety, it is not uncommon to have insomnia. For those who have problems in their emotional well being, mindfulness practices are effective to reduce anxiety and insomnia levels.
Eckhart Tolle (author of the best-selling book The Power of Now) describes mindfulness as a way of paying attention to the present moment, rather than the thoughts in the mind. Tolle helps to quiet the chatter in our minds by drawing our attention to the present moment through bodily awareness. The fundamentals of mindfulness are used in various eastern-based exercises, such as yoga, qigong and tai chi. Such practises are making their way into scientific studies and clinical trials; many of which are reporting various health improvements as a result of mindfulness based treatments.
In the informative video below, scientists discuss the link between sleep disruption and psychiatric disorders.