We live in such a fast paced world, so much to do, so little time that often we do not make enough time to give our body the much needed rest and rejuvenation that it needs to continue to run properly. A good sleep every night is one of the most important things you can do for your health. What is a good sleep? Good sleep is restful and uninterrupted. Good sleep helps with brain function and emotional well-being. During sleep your body is healing and repairing your heart and blood vessels, promoting healthy growth and development, boosting muscle mass and repairing cells and tissues. Your immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy. Getting enough quality sleep helps you function well throughout the day.
Lack of sleep: People who are sleep deficient are less productive at work and school. They take longer to finish tasks, have a slower reaction time, and make more mistakes. Lack of sleep can affect hormonal balance, appetite, and immune system and you may have trouble fighting common infections, controlling your emotions and behavior, and coping with change. Sleep deficiency also has been linked to depression, suicide, and risk-taking behavior. It’s estimated that driver sleepiness is a factor in about 100,000 car accidents each year, resulting in about 1,500 deaths.
Weight loss and sleep: Sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin). When you don’t get enough sleep, your level of ghrelin goes up and your level of leptin goes down. This makes you feel hungrier than when you’re well-rested. With adequate sleep you will feel full faster and weight will come off easier.
Tips to help create a better sleep: Create a peaceful sanctuary in your bedroom, no TV (I don’t think TV belongs in a bedroom), no disturbing electronics (put your phone on airplane mode when you sleep), make your room pretty, bring in flowers or plants, a painting that relaxes you, or anything that will allow you to have a better sleep. Keep windows open to circulate fresh air and try to get some form of exercise daily. If you find it hard to relax at night, try some deep breathing, meditation, or writing to get things off your chest. If your sleep is still interrupted, you may want to figure out what the issue is, and if you can’t, hire a health coach to help you with this.
Sleep guilt? If you’re a morning person like me, (I love to exercise and be productive at the crack of dawn), you may feel guilty sleeping in; you may feel like you’re losing half your day. Don’t! Listen to your body. On a Saturday or Sunday when you’re not rushing to work if your body feels it needs another hour or two or more of sleep, go for it, be kind to your body and listen to what it’s telling you. If at night you’ve got a lot to do and the hours are quickly passing, be okay with knowing that things can wait until tomorrow instead of burning the night away being productive and falling apart the next day, harming your body. Prioritize your sleep, make time for it and never feel guilty for giving your body all the rest that it needs; it is the most important thing you can do for yourself.
Tip for this week:
Re-evaluate your sleep, are you sleeping enough? Is your sleep uninterrupted? Establish better sleeping habits and see how this affects your mood, your appetite and your functionality throughout the day.