Why Everyone’s Talking About Sleep Month
Sleep Month has been a part of the national calendar for over 5 years, but as we enter Year 3 of the pandemic, it’s gained traction as a necessary time to reflect on the cornerstone of wellness. Learn more about what Sleep Month means, why it’s become so important, and how you can support your own circadian rhythms in advance of Daylight Saving Time.
March is Sleep Month, and as we prepare to “spring ahead” on March 8th, it’s an obvious time to take inventory of our sleep patterns— and a long, hard look at how they’re affecting our lives.
Sleep Month is an offshoot of the National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep Awareness Week, which was designated to spread information about one of the most underestimated and under-represented facets of wellness. While we don’t normally think of sleep as an optimization tool, more and more research is coming out about how important rest actually is. According to Beam partner and sleep expert Dr. Carleara Weiss, there are real consequences for poor sleep:
- "Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night to ensure that the brain will have enough time to travel through the sleep cycles multiple times, clean all the toxins accumulated during the day and work to optimize mental and physical performance.”
- “Short-term sleep deprivation (sleeping only 5 hours) decreases REM sleep and reduces attention, concentration. It takes more than 2 nights to recover from one single night of short sleep."
- "The glucose metabolism is 30% lower in people sleeping 4 hours per night. That means the person is more likely to eat more, gain weight, and risk diabetes type 2. Important – those studies look into a short duration of sleep deprivation (for example, 6 nights). The effects are even more damaging in people following this short sleep pattern for several weeks."
- “Sleeping less than 6 to 7 hours per night is linked to reduced white blood cell count. white blood cells protect our body against illness and diseases, fighting viruses, bacteria, and other intruders that try to harm our bodies.
Sleep + The Pandemic
The pandemic has greatly contributed to the rise of wellness in general. According to Beam co-founder Matt Lombardi, the wellness industry has taken a major step forward since 2020:
“Pre-pandemic, it seemed like investing in your wellness was more of a trendy or aspirational thing to do, but maybe not as consistently or fully engrained in people’s lifestyles. Through the pandemic, people are becoming more aware that it’s not just a “trend,” and that investing time and money into our health and wellness is non-negotiable.”
Within the wellness world itself, sleep is becoming more of a priority. As people are becoming increasingly burnt out with the stress of the pandemic, mindsets have shifted from unhealthy, uber-productivity to self care and rest as its own form of progress. Accounts like @TheNapMinistry on Instagram have gained popularity with the rise of this new rest-centered mindset—and we are all for it.
Better Sleep for Better Days
Here are a few tools you can use to improve your sleep (and your life!)
The Sleep Tracker
In honor of Sleep Month, we’re giving you the ultimate tool to optimize your night-time hours: The Sleep Tracker.
It’s simple: anytime from 3/9 to 3/31, head to our website to sign up for our Sleep Tracker Challenge. Then, log your sleep for 5 days straight to receive:
- 5 free nights of Dream + a discount code for your next purchase
- A custom sleep analysis and sleep recommendations from Beam partner and sleep scientist, Dr. Carleara Weiss
- An entry to win our new sleep product, launching soon
- A refreshed relationship with your bedtime routine and our Dream collection
- A brand-new perspective on the way you sleep
Stay tuned for more details.
Dr. Weiss says:
- "Keep a regular schedule." Even on the weekends, set a consistent bedtime and wake-up time and try to stick to this schedule as often as possible!
- "Avoid light exposure at least an hour before bedtime." Electronic-free time helps support our biological clock and natural sleep cycles.
- "Set aside time to relax." Swap the late-night email refresh with a warm shower or meditation.
- "Create a bright morning routine." It’s not just about bedtime! In the mornings, increase your exposure to morning light (natural or artificial) as soon as you wake up. It’s all about getting up — so no checking your phone in bed. Increased light exposure in the morning helps the brain “understand” that it is daytime, shuts down Melatonin, and promotes energy for the day!
According to Dr. Weiss, “A nap is like a snack before dinner— if you snack a lot, you will not finish your dinner and will likely feel hungry later at an odd hour. Keep the naps short (30 minutes or less) and nap earlier in the day (before 3 pm) to protect your night-time sleep.”We’ve got a month full of sleep events with exclusive prizes + cutting-edge tips to help you get your zzz’s in great shape. Happy Sleep Month!