benefits of sleep

 

Sleep and I have a love/hate relationship. I often think of the time spent sleeping as time wasted – time that could be spent being productive. For the most part,  I have never really focused on getting a proper amount of rest each and every night.

That was until it became very clear that sleep is more important than, well, almost everything. The more I read, the more apparent this became. Want to manage your weight and be healthy? Get enough sleep. Want to reduce stress? Get enough sleep. Want to be happier? Get enough sleep.

I gave it a shot and made a concerted effort to be in bed by 9:30 every weeknight. After a few days of about 8-9 hours of sleep I was noticing the difference. As expected, I had more energy in the morning and throughout the day.  One unexpected benefit was a spike in creativity. During this time of increased zzz’s I felt that writing – at work and at home – came much more naturally to me. I wasn’t straining to find the perfect word or staring at a blank document, struggling to string the first sentence together. The benefits of sleep were immediately very obvious and it was even more obvious how a life of ample sleep would be healthy for both the mind and body.

Even after a successful stint of sufficient sleep, I haven’t stuck with it and I’m back to grasping at hours awake rather than commiting to hours in bed. I took to the World Wide Web for some advice on getting more sleep and this great little article gave these helpful tips:

– Set a regular bed time and wake up at the same time every day (even on weekends, if possible)
– Nap to catch-up on lost sleep
– Make your bedroom sleep-friendly – keep noise down, ensure the room is dark and cool, and a comfy bed helps
– Reserve the bed for sleeping – avoid working or watching TV while in bed
– Create a relaxing bedtime routine – this could include reading, having a light snack, doing some easy stretches or even taking a warm bath
– Stay away from big meals at night and avoid caffeine
– Schedule your exercise in the morning or early afternoon

Spring is here and the days naturally feel longer and more productive. This should be a good time to embrace the creativity, energy, and many other benefits 8-hours of sleep can bring.

Sweet dreams!

Photo sourced from here via weheartit.

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Comments
One Response to “benefits of sleep”
  1. chelslaw says:

    I agree! I always try and get 8 hours of sleep and then I feel so rested and productive during the day. Aside from being fantastic for your health, weight and stress- sleep also feels sooooo good. Not much better than waking up an hour before you have to, rolling over and going back to sleep. Thats the best hour of sleep EVER.

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