Oh I just love to sleep. There is nothing better for me than a good night’s rest. I feel good, I look good and everything is just great. With that being said, at the same time if I don’t have a good night’s rest I’m a horrible person to be with. I feel awful, I don’t look good, I’m irritated and the day is just a mess even though it just started.
According to the dictionary, sleep is: “a condition of body and mind which typically recurs for several hours every night, in which the nervous system is inactive, the eyes closed, the postural muscles relaxed, and consciousness practically suspended”. This explains exactly why sleep is good for you – when we sleep our bodies work to recover muscles, organs and other cells. Our bodies need sleep to restore and refresh, to grow muscle, repair tissues and produce hormones.
A good night’s sleep has so many benefits, like:
- It controls your metabolism
- It controls your weight
- It promotes a stable mood
- It prevents retention
- It boosts the immune system
- It helps with your short term memory
- It is essential for brain functioning
When we don’t get enough sleep it can cause havoc to our systems:
- It can weaken your immune system
- It can cause thinking issues
- It can lead to weight gain
- It can increase your risk of certain cancers
- It can increase your risk of diabetes
Here we can see just how important sleep is for us. Now it is not always that easy to sleep well at night. We live at a time where stress at work is basically impossible not to have, and this makes us roll around in bed for hours at night. Here is what I have found to work for me during stressful times.
I have found that exercising some time during the day makes me sleep tight at night. A good exercising routine has always worked for me. It burns a lot of calories and therefore uses a lot of your energy. It relaxes you and also helps to reduce stress.
As I’ve said before I don’t like the word “diet”. I see a diet as something I can never stick to. I prefer to try and eat healthy most days a week and indulge into something sweet and not so healthy every now and then. If you eat healthy, you will look and feel healthy and that will also help you to get that much needed Zzzzz during the night. Try not to eat dinner after 8pm at night so that your body still has enough time to digest.
Find a way to relieve stress
If you are like me and don’t like to exercise in the afternoon after work, you will have to find something that will relax you before going to bed. Whether it is reading a book or playing with the dogs outside, you need to do something that takes your mind completely off work and any stress related matter.
Get into a routine
Yes, it is the way that your parents raised you and believe me by having a routine when you are an adult will make your life much easier. Try and go to bed every night at the same time and wake up at the same time each morning. This way you will ‘train’ your brain to start winding down at a certain time in the evening and getting up at a certain time in the morning will become easier to do.
Take a relaxing bath or shower
This sure helps me relax in the evening. Studies have shown that taking a warm bath before bed helps you to have a great night’s sleep and increases the quality of sleep. A hot shower before bed helps me to relax and especially in winter helps me warm up before getting into cozy pajamas and into bed.
Your next question might be so how many hours of sleep are enough? Well, the truth is that this differs from person to person. For someone 6 hours might be enough while others need 8 hours of sleep a night. Most healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours to function at their best. I have found that I need 8 hours to feel absolutely amazing the next day!
Now go get that much needed Zzzzzz…