7 Reasons to get more Sleep

How much difference would it make to have even one extra hour of sleep make for us?   Its actually a big difference, since having too little sleep can have an impact on our physical, mental and emotional health!

If you’ve ever stayed up way too late emailing, or texting with friends, catching up on TV shows, or scrolling aimlessly through Facebook or Twitter. Yep, plenty of us are guilty as charged — and as a result, we end up feeling exhausted in the morning.

That most of us are falling short on getting the recommended eight hours of sleep per night is nothing new.  REMEMBER,  not all of us who fail to get enough sleep actually have any trouble sleeping!  Many of us are just staying up too late or putting off our bedtime in favor of other priority activities.

If you are consistently getting less than 7 or 8 hours of sleep per night, it may come at a heavy cost for our health and much more.  Here are 7 good reasons to get more sleep each night of the week:

1.  You can be more productive at your work or at home each day:  

We’ve all been there at one time or another…. You’re sitting at your desk after a late night, staring blankly at the project that is supposed to be due before the end of the day and its not coming out!  That is because lack of sleep messes up with your ability to think, making it very difficult for your brain to perform basic functions like concentration.

This is the obvious stuff, but there is an impact on our ability to think creatively as well with lack of sleep.   This can seriously affect your life especially if there are a lot of late nights during your week!    Sleep is also critical for our brain to be effective at problem solving.  At my type of work (family practise), I solve mysteries and problems all day, so a lack of sleep is potentially very detrimental to me…and to my patients!

Ultimately, for the success of your work/business, get your 7-8 hours of sleep every night.  This will give your brain an amazing boost that will have you feeling alert, focused and ready to perform effectively and to be more productive!

2.  You will maintain a healthier weight easier

Have you noticed that when you are sleep deprived, you tend to reach for more sugar and caffeine…as well as unhealthy foods?  If we are sleep deprived, we tend to have less energy for the willpower needed to stick with healthy food choices

There is some evidence that connects later nights with higher food/calorie intake each day.   After 8 pm, our body seems to crave fatty, salty or sugary foods which may explain why people who stay up late, tend to eat far more calories than people who have an earlier bedtime.

Ultimately, if you have a regular bedtime, get 7-8 hours of sleep, you will have less cravings, more willpower and consume less calories each day!  What does this mean for your health and body weight?  You got it!

3.  You will reduce your risk for chronic diseases:

To reduce your risk for developing conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes and stroke, be extra careful to get enough sleep (in addition to proper nutrition and exercise).

When you are sleeping, your body is in repair mode helping to repair daytime damage done on your various body tissues.  If you don’t get enough sleep for the necessary repairs, your body’s health will suffer in the long run, making you at risk for major problems.

4.  You will have better mental health and positivity

Having too little sleep, can create a situation where we have less patience, more irritability, more stress and less capable of handling emotions.  Having more sleep of course doesn’t solve all of our problems, but can be connected with higher levels of positivity, better problem solving capability, more patience, being more relaxed and more capable of handling those life “curve balls” that come your way.

Some studies have shown that people who lack sleep are more likely to be overwhelmed with negative thoughts!   With more sleep, we have a better chance of putting things in positive perspective and have less pessimistic thoughts!

Ultimately, get your required hours of sleep per night, and you will find that things seem better in the morning!

5.  You will be a safer driver!

An interesting fact for you….people who sleep only 5-6 hours are twice as likely to have an accident than people who sleep for 7-8 hours or more!  This is very scary fact, but its true that sleep deprivation can make you less alert and much more likely to get into a crash.

Many people drive even while drowsy and did you realize just how much our judgement is impaired without sleep?  For example, after 24 hours without sleep, the  driving skills are similar to that of a drunk driver!  Yike, that is scary!

6.  You will have a healthier appearance

It is true…without a good sleep, we tend not to look so great.  During sleep, our body works to replace old skin cells with fresh new ones, so that our complexion looks more fresh and bright than pale and worn out.  We all know that lack of sleep can contribute to puffy eyes, dark circles under eyes, red eyes and a look that truly shows people that you are running on very little sleep!

Some of the studies done comparing well-rested people with sleep deprived folks showed that the participants rated people with less sleep as  less attractive, less healthy, less approachable, and more sad in appearance.

Ultimately, with proper sleep, we look healthier, better in color and more fresh, alert and happy !

7.   You will have a better Immune System

Adequate rest, helps to ensure our immune system has more strength to fight off those bugs we come in contact with on a regular basis.  You are not only less likely to develop an infection when exposed, but if you do get sick, you are likely to recover  faster if you get adequate sleep on a regular basis.

Good handwashing is by far the BEST way to prevent illness, but getting adequate sleep is for sure the next most important thing to stay as healthy as possible.

SUMMARY:

Overall, you can see that having a regular sleep schedule has MANY benefits for our physical, mental and emotional health and well-being. If you also get a good night sleep, you are much less likely to have issues getting up in the mornings as well.

I have found it MUCH easier to have happier and less stressful mornings when feeling refreshed and after having adequate rest.  Seriously, it makes such a huge difference!

To ensure a good sleep, be sure to avoid using brightly colored screens (computer, TV, Phone) for an hour or two prior to bedtime.  The bright stimulating lights interfere with our body’s natural rhythm and may affect our ability to fall asleep.  Avoid caffeine and stimulants and try using strategies like having warm baths, or perhaps meditation/yoga/relaxation prior to bedtime.  Part of having good sleep is to set up a regular routine or ritual that you can stick with to mentally and physically prepare you for sleep.

What is your biggest frustration with trying to get adequate sleep every night?

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