Hit snooze

Hit snooze

29 June, 2013
Top benefits of sleep
Reasons why you should make time for slumber

Reasons for having a good night’s sleep don’t just stop at feeling energized, getting rid of baggy eyes and improving your mood. Health benefits include a healthier heart, mind and steadier weight. The next time you are tempted to sacrifice sleep time, think twice!
Check out this list of just some of the top benefits of proper sleep:
1.) Peak Performance
Athletes will be able to tell you the importance of sleep because it directly correlates with their performance. Not only is daytime fatigue reduced, athletes also gain more stamina. Sleep doesn’t just affect athletes’ performance but also students’. Students can get better grades if they are able to concentrate for longer periods, and sleep supports such concentration.
2.) Improved Memory
Memories and skills that you learn while awake can be strengthened through a process called consolidation that happens when you sleep. Whether it is playing the piano or picking up French vocabulary, you might find that you pick it up more easily after you wake up from a nap.
3.) Creativity Sparked
During the consolidation process, not only does the brain create stronger memories, but memories can also be reorganized while emotional components of memories are strengthened, which in turn can stimulate you to have more creative ways of thinking.
4.) Reduced Inflammation
Inflammation has been linked to illnesses such as heart disease and arthritis and conditions such as premature aging. Studies have shown that those who have hadsleep disorders and been treated typically see their blood pressure and inflammation decrease as their duration and quality of sleep improves.
5.) Longer Lifespan
Studies show that too much or too little sleep can lead to a shorter lifespan. In a study that examined women aged 50 to 79, those who got less than five hours or more than six and a half hours of sleep each night had shorter lifespans. That’s not surprising since bad sleeping patterns can also lead to illnesses.
6.) Focus, Focus, Focus
Teachers will agree that lack of sleep in kids can lead to hyperactive symptoms such as not being able to concentrate, being fidgety, talking too much, and having difficulty remembering things. Teach kids good sleep habits if you want them to get the most out of their formative years.
7.) Stay Fit
Trying to shed a few pounds? Consider planning your bedtime, because sleep and metabolism are actually controlled by the same sections of the brain, so when you are sleepy, hormones that make you feel hungry become more active.
8.) Stress Relief
Your colleagues and family will thank you for getting enough rest, because sleep can reduce stress. Being too stressed out can lead to grouchiness, anger, emotional instability, impatience and even depression. Simply getting more sleep can help you improve your relationships with other people.
Here are a few tips to help you sleep better:
-It may seem pretty obvious, but avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol within 2 hours of your bedtime since these are all stimulants.
-Avoid big meals and large quantities of liquids before bedtime or you will need to wake up to go to the bathroom at night, disrupting your sleep.
-Keep your internal clock ticking correctly by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, which will help your body set a sleep schedule.
-Having regular exercise throughout the week can give you better and deeper sleep... just make sure you don’t do it within the last hour or two before bedtime.
-Decorate your bedroom in a way that helps you sleep which can be different for everyone. Consider blackout curtains, soothing wall colours, and a good quality pillow and mattress.
Image via: http://www.parentingwithpresence.net/

By: Ecozine Staff


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