It is so important that we all get lots of Zzzzzzzs. This is definitely easier said than done though! I am such a night owl so I needed some major motivation to go to sleep earlier. I did a little homework and discovered that there are so many advantages to getting eight hours of sleep and I wanted to share them with you.
-You will be slimmer! UCLA researchers have discovered that the hormone levels involved in appetite control is lowered when we don’t get enough sleep!
-You will feel better! A new study at Carnegie Mellon University shows that people who routinely get eight hours of sleep each night are three times less likely to catch a cold. More snooze equals less sniffle!
-You will be healthier! A lack of sleep is also connected to high blood pressure. Take care of yourself and your heart by getting lots of good rest.
-You will be wiser! That fuzzy cloudy feeling we have when we have not gotten enough sleep is a build up of proteins in our brain. The proteins also interfere with our ability to learn according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine.
-You will be happier! Losing even just half and hour of sleep routinely can contribute to increased feelings of depression and lower self esteem in children and teenagers so encourage your kids to go to bed on time.
Now for some sleep strategies:
-Wear and eye mask or make sure your room is completely dark. Your body’s internal clock gets the signal that it is time to wake up when there is light in the room.
-Create an evening ritual that helps you relax. Take a bath, do some light reading, drink a cup of hot mild or herbal tea and help your body and mind wind down for the night.
-Keep a notepad next to your bed so that you can jot down night time worries that might keep your mind racing. You will fall asleep faster knowing that you have a written reminder of the task.
-Reserve your bed for sleeping….well….maybe one other thing is acceptable there too! The point is to avoid paying bills, doing work, or watching television from your bed. That way, your body will be conditioned to sleep while you are laying down.
-Wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day…even on the weekends. It will help set your body’s clock.
-The Mayo Clinic advices that you void rich fatty foods, spicy foods, caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol. All of these things can put a damper on your sleeping habits.
-According to Reader’s Digest, foods with a higher glycemic ranking can help you fall asleep in half the usual time if you eat them within four hours of bedtime. They speed up the release of the brain chemicals that promote sleep, trypotphan and serotonin. Among these are jelly beans, a plain bagel or French bread, rice cakes, saltines, pretzels, corn chips, low sugar cereals, baked potato, instant rice, vanilla wafers, graham crackers, watermelon (also an aphrodisiac!) and honey.
-Love your bed. Make sure it is comfy and clean and that you find it restful.