Wednesday Wellness: Sleep! It does a body good

If there were actually 25 hours in a day, what would you dedicate the extra hour to?   Conversely, let’s say there were 23 hours in a day, what would you take away from?   It seems like lately, half the people I am talking to are seriously sleep deprived. They can’t seem to get enough done during the day, so they steal it from the precious hours at night time, thinking it won’t matter. The problem here is it does matter…a lot!    Did you know? If you are well rested you are more likely to:  

  • Have increased energy
  • Fight off disease
  • Keep weight off
  • Feel less anxious
  • Make clearer decisions
  • Repair cell and tissue damage done during stressful times
  • Be more calm
  • Lower your blood pressure

And this is only a small tip of the iceberg.   In opposition, if you are sleep deprived, you are more likely to: 

  • Be irritable
  • Feel groggy
  • Have impaired cognitive functions
  • Gain weight
  • Increase your risk of disease
  • Increase your risk of accidents
  • Have a lowered immune response
  • Have adrenal dysfunction

As you can see, the odds are so much in sleep’s favor! However, as a whole, I see firsthand that our society doesn’t value sleep like we should; yet to get a solid, 7-9 hours of sleep (everyone is a little different) can make or break your day, not to mention your health!    So, if you had one extra hour a day, would you sleep more? If you had one less hour a day, would you sleep the same as you do now and eliminate the extra TV time or would you still find an excuse not to sleep? How do you want to spend your 24 hours? You and I are given the same amount of hours…will you make sure you can honor the rest your body and brain needs to function on full capacity? You’re worth it, right?   Some quick tips on getting better rest:

  • Stop eating a couple hours before bed time. 
  • Try and set a schedule as to when you will go to bed every night and be consistent within a half hour or so.
  • Drink some herbal tea right before bed. Chamomile is very relaxing.
  • Shut down your lap top and TV (light stimulus and brain stimulus) at least a half hour before bed time.
  • Keep your room dark.
  • Keep a pad of paper and pencil by your bed, so if you have a lot on your mind, write it down to deal with the next morning.
  • Make your bedroom a “sanctuary” which is honored for rest and sleep.

For a few more articles about the importance of sleep, check out some of the links below!   http://www.eat-healthy-live-healthy.com/the-importance-of-sleep   http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/importance_of_sleep_and_health   http://www.apa.org/topics/sleep/why.aspx   http://www.emedicinehealth.com/sleep_understanding_the_basics/article_em.htm   To your health!!