Sleeping Well and Why it is Important
“Life must be aromatic. There must be scent, somehow there must be some.”
– Gwendolyn Brooks
Did you know that your quality of life is linked to your sleep?
Good sleep is important for healthy brain function. The average person needs 7-8 hrs. of sleep. Do you ever wonder what happens when you sleep? Surprisingly, the brain is active, even when you are asleep. When you sleep, your brain processes what happened in the day. During sleep, your brain forms pathways that are involved in learning and creating memories.
What are some of the important health benefits of sleep?
The expression, “Waking up on the wrong side of the bed”, is true. Poor sleep can affect your mood as well as your emotions. Not getting enough sleep can leave you feeling irritable and stressed. This can lead to poor coping skills or feeling easily frustrated. I have even found myself getting stressed just because I can’t sleep. Can you relate?
Our bodies need consistent rest to maintain a healthy immune system. Sleep allows your body to repair itself. Without enough sleep, you leave yourself vulnerable to getting sick.
Memory, focus, and performance can all be impacted by lack of sleep. Research has shown that getting enough sleep can improve memory, learning and increase attention.
Both the quality and quantity of your sleep may impact the health of your heart. When you sleep, your blood pressure decreases. If you are not sleeping, or have poor sleep, your blood pressure could remain higher for longer periods.
So what can you do to help yourself sleep better?
**Go to bed at the same time every night. Develop a routine that helps to get you relaxed and ready for bed. Try a hot bath before bed as part of your nighttime routine. Need a few ideas for a bedtime routine? Scroll down to the end for our suggestions.
**Get up at the same time every day.
**Don’t eat heavy meals before bed. Instead, have a light snack if you are hungry.
**Get regular exercise. This is a great way to release stress and keep your body in shape.
**Do not use your phone or watch tv in bed. This can disrupt your sleep patterns. If you are using your phone or kindle to read, make sure there is a blue light filter on your device.
**Start a sleep journal. Track your sleep habits. This way you can begin to understand what helps you sleep well and what does not.
Sleeping better is the road to feeling better. Give these tips a try!