The Power of Sleep
Think about this for a moment: the average American will spend about 26 years of their life asleep – that’s 227,760 hours! The quality of those sleeping hours can have a profound effect on one’s life. Sleep, nutrition, fresh air and proper exercise are the foundation of a good life; without these key ingredients, we become slothish and generally unhealthy. By contrast, good sleep allows us to be alert, healthy and much happier; our lives become enhanced and more fulfilled. Our academic, social, family and work accomplishments expand in direct correlation to our sleep quality, yet most Americans give too little consideration to their sleep environment.
Your body can’t keep going without time to rest and recharge. Sleep is necessary to help regulate hormones and body processes — even the way your cells function. Without enough sleep, your physical and emotional health can suffer. Being short on sleep can make you:
- More likely to catch an illness
- Tired and stressed
- Unable to focus and concentrate at work or school
- More emotional or moody
- Have trouble making decisions
- Less able to get along with others
- More likely to fall down or have some sort of accident
- Have problems with coordination while driving, using tools, or working at the computer
Better Sleep: Get the Right Amount of Sleep
On average, most adults need seven or eight hours of quality sleep each night, but there’s no hard and fast magic number that’s right for everybody. A little quality sleep is better for you than a long night of restless sleep. The amount of sleep that you need changes as you age and varies with hormonal changes, like during pregnancy.
You should wake up easily in the morning, feeling refreshed and ready to start the day, not bleary-eyed and stumbling out of bed. If you consistently get seven hours of sleep but still wake up feeling drowsy, you probably need a little more. Once you figure out what works for you, be consistent about getting that amount every night.
Better Sleep: Set the Stage
If you’re always tired because you only allow yourself a few hours of sleep each night, you obviously need more rest. But what’s even more important is getting better sleep. Here are tips to make your bedroom a more restful place:
- Keep your room dark and quiet when you sleep.
- Keep the temperature on the cool side at bedtime; people don’t sleep as well in rooms that are too hot. Find your best temperature somewhere between 54 and 75 degrees.
- Treat yourself to a big, comfy bed with the right pillow to support your head and neck.
- Make sure your sheets are clean, soft, and comfortable.
- Save your bedroom for sleeping and having sex; keep your TV and computer elsewhere in your home.
Better Sleep: Weight Loss
It is a general notion that sleeping for long hours can make you obese as it doesn’t involve burning of calories. But, a scientific research has shown that improper sleeping pattern can lead to significant weight gain. A research done on almost 60000 women has given the following outcome:
- If you sleep 5 hours or less per night, it can raise the risk of getting obese by 15%
- If you sleep for 6 hours can raise the risk of getting obese by 6%, and
- If you sleep above 6 hours or so can reduce the risk of getting obese
Most people think that only severe obesity can cause serious health problems, but to their knowledge even moderate weight gain can also have serious impact on their health.
Proper sleep leads to better health and better healthy leads to a better YOU!
“Sleep Healthy, Eat Healthy, Live Healthy”