Tips for better sleep so that you don’t mess up with your circadian rhythm.
People juggling with a hectic schedule often suffer from chronic sleep deficits. But, there are people maintaining fixed sleep and wake times ensuring 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Is it hard for you? Well, if Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, managing $406 billion company, can sleep 8 hours each night, you too can.
We tend to think about routines when a new school season begins. Yet, I find that one of the key tricks to keeping my life on track is going to bed at the same time no matter what. That can feel challenging when summer is here and the sun doesn’t set until late. That can also feel challenging when the new fall shows begin, holiday parties are abundant, or spring arrives. The thing is, though, if you want to live a life you love, ensuring you get better sleep is critical.
Related: How Sleep affects Your Mental Health
I’m a big fan of getting adequate sleep. I also know how easy it is to slip into the habit of going to bed later. I mean, hey, the summertime with all those hours of evening sunlight! An invitation for an evening walk or have a get-together with friends. Once you get out of the routine of making sleep a priority, it’s hard to get back in the groove.
There are so many attractive options: television, Facebook, and Netflix. And when the weather is nice, a late walk or sitting on the porch is relaxing.
Yet, there are also many important reasons to ensure that you are getting enough sleep.
1. Sleep Improves Memory
Your mind is surprisingly busy while you snooze. During sleep, you can strengthen memories or “practice” skills learned while you were awake (it’s a process called consolidation). This consolidation also helps you learn new skills – whether it’s French or a new golf swing.
2. Sleep Spurs Your Creativity
Get a good night’s sleep before creating art: from knitting to painting to writing. In addition to consolidating memories, or making them stronger, your brain appears to reorganize and restructure them, which may result in more creativity as well. Researchers at Harvard University and Boston College found that people seem to strengthen the emotional components of a memory during sleep, which may help spur the creative process. That also means that it helps you be more creative when it comes to problem-solving!
3. Adequate Sleep Encourages a Healthier Waistline
Did you know that sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain? Researchers at the University of Chicago studied dieters that lost similar amounts of weight. Those that were well-rested lost mostly fat while those who were sleep-deprived lost mostly muscle mass. Dieters in the study also felt hungrier when they got less sleep.
4. Curb Inflammation with Better Sleep.
One of the most eye-opening lectures I’ve attended was about the body, health, and inflammation. The doctor explained that inflammation is our body’s attempt to get our attention. What he called loud inflammation like aching joints was a precursor to those silent big-deal inflammations: heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging. Research indicates that people who get less sleep – six or fewer hours a night – have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get more.
5. More Sleep Helps Lower Stress
When it comes to our health, stress and sleep are nearly one and the same and both can affect cardiovascular health.
You may be nodding your head. Or you may be saying, yes, I KNOW all this, but sleep and I are just not friends. How does all this knowledge and he pressure to get more sleep and better sleep actually equal ME being able to do so? I hear you, sister! I know I’m not the only one in my age group who regularly wakes at 3 AM, unable to drift back off. And, honestly, several days in a row of waking up in what should be the middle of the night makes me feel crappy and even more stressed.
If you’re struggling with sleep issues, it’s important to address them for your mental, physical, and emotional health. Yes, a visit to your doctor may be in order. First, though, give some of these holistic tips for better sleep a try.
Watch this video to know why sleep is your superpower: