Sleep Explained: Why does it feel so good?
It’s everyone’s favorite pastime: sleep! Sleep lets your body and brain recover from everyday stresses. Studies show that a solid night’s sleep helps you perform better in your daily tasks, keep clear-headed in making decisions, and can even help fight depression.
Sleep helps you feel more optimistic, alert, and function in your interpersonal relationships. In other words, when you sleep well, you’re less cranky. Rest also helps your immune system, keeping you healthy and fighting off disease. Without enough sleep, your brain can’t properly function.
Research shows that wearing socks to bed can help you sleep better. Socking up for sleep can thaw your paws and help your body regulate its temperature so you can fall asleep faster. Grab yourself a pair of cozy Brain Socks to help your feet stay warm, and help your brain function with a good night’s sleep.
Sleep feels good because when we rest, our bodies produce melatonin, which controls our sleep patterns. Our melatonin levels increase at bedtime, making us feel tired. Melatonin, secreted by the pineal gland, makes us feel cozy and relaxed, allowing our bodies to get the time off they need at the end of each day.
Sleep is different for everyone. Some may fall asleep and stay asleep easily, while others may struggle to get the rest they need. Your recommended sleep also depends on how old you are. How much sleep do you need by age? The CDC says daily sleep changes as you age:
- Newborns (0-3 months old) need 14-17 hours
- Infants (4-12 months old) need 12-16 hours
- Toddlers (1-2 years old) need 11-14 hours
- Preschoolers (3-5 years old) need 10-13 hours
- School-age youth (6-12 years old) need 9-12 hours
- Teenagers (13-18 years old) need 8-10 hours
- Adults ages 18-60 years old need 7 or more hours
- Adults ages 61-64 years old need 7-9 hours
- Adults ages 65 and older need 7-8 hours
There’s nothing more annoying than laying awake for hours, staring at the ceiling, wondering when that sweet, sweet rest will sweep you away. So how can you fall asleep quickly? A viral TikTok video by Justin Agustin showed a military technique for how to fall asleep in 2 minutes. The first step is to lay down and relax your forehead and face. Focus on your breathing as you relax your shoulders, arms, and chest. Work your way down your body, relaxing your legs, knees, and lastly, your feet.
To help your mind and body wind down, you can also try a warm shower, dimming the lights, or cuddling! Studies show that even just ten minutes of cuddling can help you fall asleep faster. Find that magic oxytocin for warm and fuzzy feelings. Speaking of warm and fuzzy, get yourself the Pineal Gland Plush as your new cuddle buddy while your pineal gland is hard at work to keep you calm.
Certain foods can help improve your nightly routine. What foods help you sleep? For starters, turkey might make you feel sleepy, which is probably why the food coma hits so hard on Thanksgiving. Other foods that can help promote sleep include chamomile tea, almonds, walnuts, white rice, kiwis, cherry juice, and fatty fish like salmon, tuna, or trout. So eat up, then rest up! Your body will thank you, and so will the people around you when you’re not so salty.
We all love to sleep, but we all dread waking up in the morning. So what makes waking up easier? Try to stick to a routine for the sake of your sleep schedule, and get to bed early enough to get the right amount of sleep you need. Improve your bedtime routine by avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and screens (your phone, laptop, or TV) during the hours leading up to sleep.
Eating right and exercising can also help you sleep better, so resist all those lazy days spent in bed. If you find yourself hitting snooze on a regular basis, try relocating your alarm clock (or phone) so you’re forced to get up when it goes off. Lastly, get some sun in the morning! Open your blinds or take a short walk when you first wake up. It might sound torturous, but another option is to sleep with your blinds open so you wake up to sunshine!
Happy sleeping, and happy waking!
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