A Healthy Change You’ll Be Happy to Make — Sleeping!

Are you getting less than 6 hours of sleep night after night?? Effective sleep is crucial to recharge our batteries and for our bodies to function properly! No one likes to feel sluggish or be asked if they woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

A Harvard sleep study suggests these 6 reasons to get enough sleep:

  1. Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. Keep your brain sharp.
  2. Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.
  3. Safety: Lack of sleep contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime and more prone to accidents or errors.
  4. Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do.
  5. Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.
  6. Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells.

Here are a couple of tips from the Mayo Clinic if you are having problems sleeping

  1. Stick to a schedule – go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends
  2. Pay attention to what you eat and drink – Avoid nicotine, caffeine, alcohol before bed, and don’t go to bed hungry, stuffed, or over-hydrated.
  3. Create a bedtime ritual
  4. Get comfortable
  5. Limit day time naps – no more than 10-30 minutes in the midafternoon
  6. Perform physical activity daily – but not shortly before bedtime
  7. Manage stress

A few more useful tips:

  • Write out a list of      troublesome thoughts on a pad of paper to clear your mind.
  • If you cannot fall asleep after 30 minutes, read for a while to get tired, then try to fall asleep again, or try a nice cup of hot tea to help you get sleepy!

By: Kristy Berg

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