Have you even wondered why you just simply can’t lose weight no matter how hard you try? Or, maybe, why you feel so cranky and unproductive throughout the day? These could all be symptoms of a lack of sleep.
We sleep for a reason, not because we can but because we must. Our bodies were designed to work hard all day and then recoup and recharge overnight while we sleep. In this new age, everybody is always on the go, trying to catch up with a fast-paced society that is solely interested in profit-making. All of us want to have major success and to be at the top of our game but, I’m sure, not at the cost of our health.
The Benefits of Sleep:
Doctors all over, including those at Harvard and NYU’s School of Medicine, have found that sleep is good for many reasons, including:
Weight – The hormones leptin and ghrelin influence your appetite, ghrelin stimulates your appetite, which makes you hungry, and leptin suppresses it, which tells your brain that you are full. So you’re wondering, what does that have to do with sleep? Well, a lack of sleep causes a fall in leptin levels and a rise in ghrelin levels; therefore, your brain will constantly be telling you that you are not full which, in turn, makes you eat more and gain weight.
Mood – Chronic lack of sleep is one cause of moodiness, irritability and lack of interest in routine activities. If these conditions continue, they can lead to mental disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and depression.
Mental ability and learning – The brain stores new information into long-term memory during sleep through a process called memory consolidation. Why do you think people always encourage students to get a good night’s rest before an exam?
Immune system and strength: The body makes added protein molecules while you sleep which helps to build the immune system and strengthen weakened muscles. Therefore, you’ll be fit to handle any physically taxing activity.
How to get a good night’s rest
Your productivity clearly lessens when you are fatigued, irritable, forgetful and sick. So, now you know that your body needs to get sleep to keep healthy and productive. However, some persons can’t automatically start sleeping earlier and longer because of this new information. Therefore, for those persons who are troubled with sleeping disorders and those who simply can’t find the time to sleep, here are some quick tips on how you can try to fall asleep and stay asleep longer.
Quiet and dark: It has been found that a quiet, dark room makes it easier for a person to fall asleep. Therefore, make sure you turn off all the lights and sounds in the room before you get into the bed.
Relax yourself: Take a warm bath with chamomile or lavender body wash, then moisten your skin and put on your favorite pajamas. Try to do this at the most an hour before you go to bed so you will be cool and fresh when you hit the sack.
Get active: When you are active throughout the day your body uses up the energy that you have taken in. As such, when you go into bed you will be tired and ready to sleep and you will sleep longer.
Make it a routine: Go to bed at the same time every night and set an alarm so you wake up the same time every morning. This will make sleeping into a habit which will eventually come naturally to you. So schedule all your activities with your bedtime in mind.
Stop worrying: Bedtime should be a time of relaxation, so don’t take your troubles to bed. If you worry you will not fall asleep.
I hope you’ll now be well rested and ready to work!
Joel Mark is an online author who is passionate about basketball, weight training & fitness. When he’s not outside exercising, he studies a lot about health and nutrition, which runs the gamut from avoid sleep apnea masks to nutrition.