Healthy Habits Day 10 – Get a Good Nights Sleep
I guess sometimes I take sleep for granted because unlike most I have never had a problem with this. In fact, I could fall asleep just about anywhere and always was one (since college days) to grab a quick 15 minute nap and feel like I had been sleeping for hours! When I go to sleep it’s quick and deep right away and most nights I sleep through to morning. When I get up, it’s time for me to get up and that’s about as complicated as it gets for me.
So this topic required some research for me to fully understand all the great benefits of sleep. I know sleep always makes me feel better and in my research find it’s also a mood booster and can banish under-eye circles. Here are some of the benefits of a good nights sleep that I found interesting:
- Improves Memory
- Increases life span (In 2010 a study of women ages 50 – 79 had more deaths occur with less than five hours or more than six and a half hours of sleep per night.
- Decreases Inflammation (Inflammation is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging) People who get less sleep – six or fewer hours a night have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get more.
- Be more creative – Researchers at Harvard University and Boston College found that people seem to strengthen the emotional components of a memory during sleep, which may help spur the creative process.
- Be a Winner – A Stanford University study found that college football players who tried to sleep at least 10 hours a night for seven to eight weeks improved their average sprint time and had less daytime fatigue and more stamina.
- Improve your Grades – A study in 2010 found significant functional impairment at school with children between the ages of 10 and 16 who had a sleep disordered breathing, which includes snoring, sleep apnea, and other types of interrupted breathing during sleep.
- Sharpen Attention – A lack of sleep can result in ADHD-like symptoms
- Be at Healthy Weight – Researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat – 56^ of their weight loss – than those who were sleep deprived, who lost more muscle mass.
- Lower Stress – Sleep definitely reduces levels of stress, and with that people can have better control of their blood pressure.
- Accident Avoidance – The National Highway Traffic Safety Adm. reported in 2009 that being tired accounted for the highest number of fatal single-car run-off-the-road crashes due to the driver’s performance – even more than alcohol.
- Steer Clear of Depression – A lack of sleep can contribute to depression. A good nights sleep can really help a moody person decrease their anxiety. You get more emotional stability with good sleep.
How to get a good nights sleep
Stop drinking/eating caffeine by 4:00 pm
Eat light foods for dinner (veggies, diced chicken breast, tomatoes, etc)
Sip wine sooner (by around 6:00 pm rather than 11:00 pm)
Take an early bath (after you get home from work, not right before bed)
Stretch before going to sleep
Set the mood – Turn off the tv, lights, stop reading in bed
Ban your Smart Phone from the bedroom
Make your room dark and keep it dark
Keep your room cool
Keep your room quiet
Keep your room calm
So if you’re not sleeping well, try implementing some new techniques as you can certainly see the benefits of getting a good nights sleep!
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