The Importance of Sleep for Overall Health

The Importance of Sleep for Overall Health

Welcome to another amazing week! How has this week been for you? How are you feeling about your mindset? If you've been able to add more movement to your daily routine, has it helped your mindset? It typically has a positive impact for me, but I’d love to hear your experiences. It’s okay if you’re still figuring this out; my goal is to support you on your journey toward creating positive, supportive life hacks.

This week, I’d like to build on what we’ve covered and talk about sleep. Specifically, let's explore how sleep fits into your life and how it affects your waking hours. Whether you prefer a regular sleep routine like me or have a more flexible approach, understanding sleep can help improve your overall health.

An Overview of Sleep

What is sleep? Sleep is a natural, essential process that allows our bodies and minds to rest and rejuvenate. During sleep, our conscious mind takes a backseat, letting our subconscious take over. This period of reduced consciousness and sensory activity helps restore energy, consolidate memories, and support overall health.

Sleep is divided into two main stages: REM and Non-REM sleep.

Understanding Sleep: REM and Non-REM Sleep

Non-REM Sleep

Non-REM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep is the first stage of the sleep cycle and is divided into three phases. This type of sleep is crucial for physical restoration and growth.

  • Stage 1 (Light Sleep): This initial phase is said to last a few minutes as you transition from wakefulness to sleep. Your body begins to relax, and your heartbeat, breathing, and eye movements slow down.
  • Stage 2 (Moderate Sleep): In this stage, its understood your body enters a deeper state of relaxation. Your heartbeat and breathing continue to slow, and your body temperature drops. Brain activity shows brief bursts of rapid waves called sleep spindles.
  • Stage 3 (Deep Sleep): Also known as slow-wave sleep (SWS) or delta sleep, this phase is characterized by very slow brain waves called delta waves. Deep sleep is the most restorative stage, during which tissue growth and repair occur, the immune system is strengthened, and energy is replenished.

REM Sleep

REM (rapid eye movement) sleep typically occurs about 90 minutes after falling asleep. During REM sleep, brain activity increases to levels similar to when you’re awake. This stage is vital for cognitive functions, particularly memory consolidation, learning, and mood regulation.

  • Characteristics of REM Sleep:
    • Rapid Eye Movements: Your eyes move rapidly from side to side behind closed eyelids.
    • Dreaming: Most vivid dreams occur during REM sleep due to heightened brain activity.
    • Muscle Paralysis: The body experiences temporary paralysis of major muscle groups, preventing you from acting out your dreams.
    • Heart Rate and Breathing: Both become irregular, and breathing can become faster and more shallow.

The Sleep Cycle

While we could spend an eternity discussing the cycles of sleep, the most important takeaway here is to note that proper sleep enhances physical health and supports mental and emotional well-being, making it a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle.

What Does This All Mean?

Have you ever noticed how much better you feel after a good night’s sleep? How you’re in a better mood or don’t feel such a strong urge to snack? A lot of this can be attributed to a good night’s sleep. Each stage of the sleep cycle plays a part in how we feel and behave the following day. So, going to bed at night is something worth spending a little time planning.

For me, I prefer a routine and usually go to sleep at the same time every night. However, everyone is different. Think about how you felt when you woke up this morning. Did you get a good night’s sleep? What was your night like last night and do you feel you were rushed to hit that pillow and fall asleep as you had such a long or challenging day. Starting to understand these patterns is as much the journey as is the actual process of sleeping. 

As much as this newsletter has so many questions, it’s important to become more introspective as we start to better understand ourselves and our habits. To learn and have a better appreciation for what makes us tick. 

Tips for Better Sleep

Before you go to bed, consider these two factors:

  • Your Environment: Is your sleep space conducive to rest? Do you sleep in darkness, or do you have lights or the TV on? Falling asleep with devices nearby can disrupt your REM sleep. Creating a dark, quiet, and cool environment can improve your sleep quality.
  • Your Routine: What do you do before bed? Reading a book or turning off devices before sleep can help, while working on your computer or watching TV right before bed may not be as beneficial. Experiment with different routines to see what works best for you.

Taking these aspects into consideration can make a big difference in how restful your sleep is. When you wake up feeling refreshed, you’re more likely to have a productive and positive day.

Recipe Idea: Relaxing Bedtime Snack - Cherry Almond Sleep Smoothie

Devices that could help you with your sleep

Below is a short list from some of the many devices you can use to help you track your sleep. The below is neither an endorsement or exhaustive list of all the devices available. We do not have any affiliation with any of these brands or devices but are instead wanting to support you in your wellness journey. Conversely if you have a device that you use and get great value from, please let us know so we too can share it.

Here is a comparison of the Whoop 4.0, Oura Ring, and Smart Ring Health Tracker:




  • Whoop 4.0 requires a membership, which includes the device and access to the Whoop app and analytics.
  • Oura Ring offers detailed sleep and health tracking with a focus on overall readiness. It has an optional premium plan for additional insights.
  • Smart Ring Health Tracker is a more general category and varies by model. It typically offers comprehensive health tracking features but may vary in accuracy and functionality.



Incorporating good sleep habits into your routine can significantly enhance your overall health. By understanding the stages of sleep and creating a conducive sleep environment, you can improve your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Start by assessing your current sleep habits and making small changes to see big improvements. Sweet dreams!


  1. Experiment with a bedtime routine: Try activities that promote relaxation, like reading, meditating, or taking a warm bath.
  2. Optimize your sleep environment: Ensure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool. Consider using blackout curtains and white noise machines if needed.
  3. Monitor your sleep patterns: Keep a sleep journal to track your sleep quality and identify patterns or habits that affect your rest.


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