Sleep is one of those simple yet powerful tools that is truly a health weapon. A good night’s sleep makes you feel much healthier and allows you to function better throughout your day. When you have good sleeping habits, it has a domino effect on every aspect of your life. You’ll feel more alert, energetic and motivated to make other positive lifestyle changes. So sleep for the health of it!
The widespread use of electricity has given us greater freedom but it has also given us the opportunity to stay up late and push ourselves to do more resulting in sleep deprivation. What you may not realize is that sleep deprivation is cumulative. You don’t adapt to sleep deprivation, you only get more tired and eventually unhealthy.Many things interfere with a good night’s sleep these days. Emails, social media and smartphones have all become such a part of living in our modern world that we borrow time from sleep to do more.Sleep is needed to regenerate the body. When you don’t get enough, your body doesn’t heal. The body’s immune system is actually weakened without sleep which not only causes you to be sick but it also causes you to age prematurely. Sleep studies are finding that women who averaged less than five hours of sleep per night had a higher death rate than those who slept seven hours and that women going to bed too late may be doubling their risk of breast cancer.It is time to make sleep a priority and look upon it as you would any other essential nutrient that affects virtually every aspect of your life.Here are a few tips for getting the right amount and quality of sleep you need.
- Go to bed at the same time every night – Give yourself a scheduled bedtime or before long your awake time will be squeezing its way into sleep time.
- Unplug – Make sure you are not doing anything but relaxing, journaling or reading an hour before going to bed. That means no electronics. Doing so allows your body to release the hormone melatonin which helps to get you to sleep.
- Keep your room cool and well ventilated – Keeping your room temperature on the cooler side and using an air purifier can improve the way you breathe and ultimately the way you sleep.
- Limit caffeine – Drinking caffeine can prolong the time it takes you to fall asleep and can decrease the time that you stay asleep.
- Limit alcohol – Alcohol may make you fall asleep quicker but your quality of sleep may be diminished causing you to wake up feeling tired.
Make sleep as essential as eating, exercising or anything else that you consider important to your health. Pleasant dreams!