Sleep is how your body regenerates your brain and body. The normal neurological functions of your brain create byproducts that must be flushed out by your glymphatic system (a brain waste clearance system) at night. This is also when your body regenerates your immune system, regulates important hormones, heals damaged cells and recovers from the various activities of the day. When you cut your sleep short, there isn't enough time for your body to go through these processes and can result in sluggish neurological function, brain fog, mood changes, poor memory and even experiencing unhealthy food cravings (due to hormone changes). What can you do to improve your sleep cycle? Exposing yourself to light in the morning when you wake up and keeping your evenings dim can really help with normalizing sleep patters. Even modest alcohol consumption, poor eating habits and blue screens can interfere with regular sleep patterns. I personally try to keep semi-sheer curtains in my bedroom to help the light wake me in the morning and attempt to eat a well portioned/balanced meal at least 3 hours before I go to sleep. About an hour before I want to go to bed, I turn off most/all of the lights in my home to help my brain realize it's time to get sleepy. Sleep is essential for health. Practice these habits to restore your natural rhythms.
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