AFTER SLEEP AWARENESS WEEK, WORLD SLEEP SOCIETY (WSS) CELEBRATES WORLD SLEEP DAY ON FRIDAY, MARCH 19, 2021.
WORLD SLEEP DAY IS A CALL TO ADVOCATE AND EDUCATE ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP, AND WE’RE TAKING UP THE CALL.
While it sounds like a simple step on the path to optimal health and wellness, getting more sleep can be tricky and more nuanced than we might think — something we’re definitely a little more familiar with after a tumultuous year. According to the American Sleep Association, 50-70 million US adults have a form of sleep disorder.
Daily factors like stress, anxiety, and even diet can affect the amount, and more importantly, the kind of zzz’s we’re getting, which in turn affects how we show up and function during the waking hours of our lives. The sleep cycle transitions between non-REM and REM, which stands for rapid eye movement. During REM sleep, our eyes move rapidly, but are not sending any visual information to the brain. This period is when we dream, and when the healing, cleansing, tissue rebuilding and immune system strengthening happens in our brain, organs and systems. Just one night of low quality sleep negatively affects attention span, memory recall and learning ability.
Luckily, we’ve found an increasing number of resources to help get a better night’s rest. Apps like Calm and Wave Sleep help build healthy habits and routines to prepare our body and mind to wind down, signaling our nervous system to relax. Wave offers live (for bedtime accountability and consistency) or pre-recorded meditation and visualization sessions lead by a guide.
“Our combination of breathing exercises, body scans and visualizations are great for reducing stress and anxiety as well as reducing tension in the body, therefore inducing muscle relaxation,” says Mason, founder of Wave. “Visualizations are also great in that they help you take your mind off anything stressful and can mentally prepare you for better sleep.” Who wouldn’t want to wind down their day people watching in Paris, doze off to a luscious jungle soundscape or listen to a soothing voice telling a bedtime story that spins itself into our dreams?
Another way to set the mood is to be intentional with what we sleep in. Look for natural and organic materials like silk, vegan silk, cotton or linen that allow the body to naturally regulate its temperature, which fluctuates depending on where we’re at in the sleep cycle. Papinelle founder and CEO Renae James is an expert of indulging in bedtime textiles “Only natural fabrics deliver natural comfort. They are soft, breathable and feel beautiful on your skin. My favorites are pure silk PJ’s for cooler months and organic cotton knits when it’s a little warmer.”