Here’s what most of us think the typical healthy lifestyle looks like in the form of exercise: motion, running, lifting weights, riding a bike or taking a fitness class. The goal: raise our heart-rate, sweat and burn calories. Many folks don’t realize that one of the most important elements of a healthy regimen should be performed while lying down and exerting zero effort!
Sleep is crucial to our overall well-being. Sleep is NOT optional; our dependence on it is hard wired into our DNA. Our body and brain needs sleep like we need food and water to survive. Catnaps might curb fatigue for a short time, but a commitment to restful sleep requires an investment of our precious time.
Don’t Snooze? You Lose!
Just like a car needs fuel, our body requires sleep. Deprived of rest, our bodies will halt and cease to function. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night for adults. Skimping increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease as well as cause premature aging of the skin & lessen the skin’s ability to fight off the harmful effects of our environment.
While the healing powers of sleep are numerous, they can be best summarized in this way: shutting down your brain for seven hours is that same as your business for the day. While the lights are out and everything is quiet, management cleans up the mess left behind, restocks your shelves’ inventory and prepares the store for the next day. Our brain takes over the management role and sends out hormones that generate tissue growth and helps our bodies recover from daily injury. White blood cells are created during downtime and our blood pressure & stress levels decrease. It’s like a sleeping detox!
You Make the Rules
Social engagements, family commitments and electronic devices are only a few of the things that gets in the way of maintaining healthy sleeping habits. By making a few changes like avoiding caffeine, strenuous exercise, nicotine, video games, phone apps and other things that overstimulate our brains right before bed, we can really make a difference in our quality and quantity of restorative sleep.
Create a pre-sleep ritual. Some suggestions: a soothing bath, decaffeinated tea, yoga, read a book (not electronic), writing in a journal and even adding a little Hemp CBD oil an hour before bedtime gently encourages your brain into a calming state.
Set a sleep schedule and stick to it…..this keeps your internal body clock adjusted and allows you to both fall asleep and wake up with less effort.
Rise & Shine!
- The positive effects of sleep cannot be overstated:
- Boost our health, mood and performance
- Increased energy, creativity and productivity
- Lower stress and depression
- More radiant skin and overall improved health
Remember that a healthy sleep routine is our bodies best defense against premature aging at the cellular level. While some health remedies are a hit & miss, sleep works like a dream!