Most people know that getting enough sleep is a good idea. But in the rush of today’s world sleep and exercise are two of the things we tend to cut back on to save time for other things. For me, it’s really important to get at least 8 hours of sleep. I certainly feel a difference if I don’t get close to 8 hours of sleep. I feel tired, lethargic, my mind isn’t as clear, and my reaction times are slower. But did you know that there are other health benefits to sleep that most people don’t think of? This Health.com article lists 11 Surprising Benefits of Sleep:
-improve athletic ability
-have a healthy weight
-steer clear of depression
If you think about it, all these benefits of sleep make sense. Sleep is your body’s way of resting and processing what has happened during the day. If you cut down on that time, then like a rechargeable battery that doesn’t hold its charge you will tire faster every day. My favourite way to make sure I get enough sleep is to do the following:
-No tv, computer or cell phone use an hour before bed. The blue light from each of these devices actually disrupts our sleep cycles.
-When the mind is racing due to a stressful day, meditation can help quite the mind before bed.
-Using the bed only for the functions it was made for: sleep and making love. Our bodies tend to associate places with certain things. If you do office work while sitting on the bed, it may be hard to get a good night’s sleep.
-Keeping the room dark or wearing a sleeping mask. We are naturally programmed to be awake when it’s light out and to sleep when it’s dark outside. But artificial light disrupts our circadian rhythms which regulate our sleep patterns. If you live in the city, there is normally a lot of light pollution. Keeping a room dark when you want to sleep or blocking out any external sources of light can help your body recognize when you should be sleeping.
-Wear comfortable, breathable clothing when sleeping.
–If your pets disrupt your sleep don’t allow them on the bed. Instead buy them a great bed suited to their size and species and train them to sleep on their own bed.
What are your favourite night time rituals to help you fall asleep?