by Dr Angus Haack
Better Sleep? You wouldn’t read about it.
Sleep is an important biological function that is essential for life. During sleep, many important functions take place, these include physical healing and repair, brain development, cardiac functions, and metabolism. The sleep foundation recommends that people aged between 18 – 65, get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. As chiropractors, it is common to hear patients report disrupted sleep, in fact up to 45% of Australian adults suffer the effects of inadequate sleep.
The importance of sleep has been highlighted by the fitness industry in the past few years and has instigated an overwhelming growth in technology designed to track sleep. You can now purchase watches, phone applications, rings and bracelets that help to improve your sleep. These devices track your sleep cycle and can predict the minute you should go to sleep and the minute you should wake up. It is easy to become absorbed in the technology of sleep, but it may be worth taking a step back in time.
Remember the time when your parents read a book that literally made you fall asleep? Maybe you have implemented the technique into your life to get your own kids to sleep, but why not use this trick on yourself? Reading a book can combat insomnia by reducing stress in the body. Researchers at the University of Sussex found that just six minutes of reading reduced stress by 68%. They also discovered that the content of the book does not matter, it can be fact, fiction, or trash, if you find it interesting, that’s all that matters. Beside lowering stress levels, reading books has been linked to greater memory, increased mental abilities, improved critical thinking and in some studies, creating better people in general.
So, it may be worth swapping the devices for books before bed. The worst that will happen is you could bore yourself to sleep.