It’s no secret that we feel better when we get a good night’s sleep. Tossing and turning all night, or simply hitting the sack too late, can leave us feeling un-energetic and grouchy the following day. An adequate amount of restful sleep, on the other hand, makes us more alert and improves our mood. But a good night’s sleep has a lot more benefits than that. It can improve our mental and physical health in several ways. Here are some of the reasons we should strive to get enough sleep each and every night.
- Getting enough sleep is good for your heart. Our hearts slow down when we’re sleeping, so it stands to reason that not getting the sleep we need makes our hearts work harder for longer than intended during the course of a day. Lack of sleep can also be linked to higher blood pressure and cholesterol, both of which are bad for the heart.
- Sleep helps us fight disease and infection. As we sleep, our bodies produce more of the hormones that aid the immune system, such as melatonin and cortisol. These hormones can help prevent cell damage that leads to cancer, and they help fight off germs that cause colds, the flu, and infections.
- Long-term memories are formed during sleep. So when we get a good night’s sleep, we are giving our brains time to store more information away for later reference. If you are suffering from forgetfulness, try getting a little more sleep. Chances are, it will help.
- Adequate amounts of sleep can help us maintain a healthy weight. Studies have shown that those who sleep less than 7 to 8 hours a night are more likely to be overweight. This is believed to be due in part to lower levels of leptin, a hormone that regulates appetite, and higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that simulates hunger.
- Getting the sleep you need can help ward off depression. One of the contributing factors in depression is serotonin deficiency, which often occurs in those who do not get enough sleep.
- Sleep is the time when our bodies repair themselves. They create new cells to replace those that have been damaged during the waking hours. This is one of the keys to good health.
Getting a good night’s sleep can help us be more productive, happier and healthier. It gives our bodies a chance to produce hormones that we need and regenerate itself, and our brains a chance to file away the things we need to remember. Getting enough sleep each night is one of the most effortless, yet most important, things we can do to keep our bodies functioning as they should. Here are some tips for getting a good night’s sleep.
- Set a bed time — I know are over 9 years old, but I have a bed time. I typically get up most days at 5:30am and if I don’t have a bed time I would be a let’s just say you might not like me. =)
- Don’t eat to close to bed time — You don’t want to be full before you go bed. You want to stop eating 2-3 hours before bed.
- Have a ritual — I’m typically lights out at 10pm. At 9pm I’m in bed reading to help quiet my mind. If I find that I can’t shut down my brain I will grab a notebook that I keep my bed and write what’s on my mind so it gets out of my head. When it’s winter, I cozy up in bed with a nice mug of tea.
- How’s your bedroom — Is it too warm, too cold, is your mattress comfortable, do you have comfy pillows? Make your bedroom a little sanctuary.
- Wake up at the same time every day — I know that some of you work varying shifts so I know that it’s tough, but try your best to get the same number of hours of sleep. I ask that you strive for at least 7 hours of sleep/night.
- Get the electronics out of the bedroom — that means no TV or cell phones. Your bedroom should be just for sleeping and umm.. sex.
- Avoid stimulants to close to bed — that means both coffee and as well as alcohol. Both could cause you not to sleep.
- Sleeping pills — this is between you and your doctor. If you really struggling with sleep and doing all of the above and more check with your doctor. I’m a pretty good sleeper, but during certain times of the month I struggle with sleep. During that time of the month I use a sleep spray. It helps me fall asleep and stay asleep.
Resources: I’m Exhausted
If you have challenges sleeping, what 2 things can you do this week to help you to get a good night’s sleep. I know that most of you will say that I can survive on only x hours of sleep. Studies show that if you don’t sleep you will not lose weight.
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Day 1 — Intro the challenge
Day 2 — Getting your mind straight
Day 3 — Goal setting
Day 4 — What’s on your plate
Day 5 — Lift
Day 6 — Cardio
Day 7 — Living on your own terms
Day 8 — Rest day
Day 9 — Forming a habit
Day 10 — Just Breathe
Day 11 — Fat loss secrets revealed
Day 12 — Can you pinch an inch
Day 13 — Dedicated and Focused
Day 14 — Doubt
Day 15 — Rewards and Consequences
Day 16 — Damn Hormones
Day 17 — Pre and Post Workout Meals
Day 18 — Successful Weight Loss
Day 19 — Know Before You Go
Day 20 — Courage and Strength
Day 21 — You Can’t Out Run A Bad Diet
Day 22 — 10 Days To Go!