A couple of days back I was sitting with my wife at a local coffee shop for breakfast when I complained about having a severe headache. “You just like to whine! You slept more than 6 hours”, she said, looking quite surprised. She was convinced that getting 6 hours of sleep daily was more than enough. Well that was enough for me to give her a deeply offended look and cut our breakfast short. The reason I was groggy, even though I slept 6 hours, was the poor quality of sleep. When it comes to sleep; quality trumps quantity.
Getting a proper night’s snooze is one of the major factors that determine how your day turns out to be. If you’ve rested well, you are more likely to wake up optimistic, happy and content. Next time you’ve slept well, notice your behavior throughout the day. You will notice that you are livelier, appreciative and happier. You will enjoy talking to people and life…well…just seems so much better overall!
Feel and Look Gorgeous!
Do you know that the gorgeous Jessica Alba sleeps for more than 8 hours daily? (Let’s sleep for 10 hours and hope we turn into Angelina Jolie!). Sleeping not only reduces stress but also gives your body the time to rejuvenate itself and thus makes you look and feel more attractive and healthier.
Yeah, you heard that right! Everyone looks for a magical weight loss solutions. I certainly do. Getting more sleep is also a sure fire way of making healthier food choices, since it reduces cravings and regulates daily routine; you, more often than not, will eat on time.
Getting enough sleep improves your cognitive and intellectual performance. A well-rested brain is able to perform better. Lack of sleep impairs the performance of the brain and impairs your memory. So if you want to be the premiere of “Get Smart”, get more sleep, otherwise you will end up becoming a re-run of “Dumb and Dumberer”.
Well I may not have the secret to everlasting youth for you, but this might be the next best thing! The secret is…. get more sleep! The Telomerase enzyme is responsible for repairing damage and is activated in our bodies during sleep, hence making you look and feel younger.
No to Surviving, Yes to Thriving!
You shouldn’t be sleeping just to survive, like a lot of us do. You should be sleeping to thrive! Less sleep will take you only as far as barely making it through the day. In order to achieve your goals and enrich your life, you need energy and a positive can-do attitude to put your plans into action. Achieving excellence in life requires you to have a well-rested mind that is able to think and perform at its peak.
It’s pretty clear that sleeping well is pretty darn important, but let’s ask the real question here; how can an insomniac like me actually get his act together and get a good sleeping routine?
Tossing and turning in bed, laying wide awake staring at the ceiling, counting sheep all night long, do all of these sound familiar to you? Well, they were to me. Trying to sleep on time was always a struggle for me; I actually used to envy my wife who starts snoring as soon as her head hits the pillow. Tired of being exhausted and unhealthy from the lack of sleep every night, I decided to make some changes to accommodate better sleep every night. The tips below have been a lifesaver for me and have completely revamped how I feel throughout the day.
- Avoid caffeine! Actually, avoid any kind of chemical which can affect your sleep. If you are a smoker, you need to put that cigarette down otherwise you will wake up the next day feeling very cranky.
- Turn your bedroom into a comfortable sleep inducing area. Keep the temperature well maintained. Change the sheets regularly and make sure that the mattress you sleep on is made of good quality. You should replace your bed mattresses after 10 years maximum.
- Follow a pre-bedtime routine that is soothing and calming like taking a warm bath, brushing your hair, or light reading in bed.
- If you wake up from your slumber during the night, do not check your watch unnecessarily. Checking the time during bedtime is known to increase stress.
- Try to stick to a fixed sleep routine daily. Do not change your routine during the weekend because sleeping and waking up at the same time each day kind of sets your body’s internal clock.
- If you must take a nap, take it before 5 p.m. since late day naps are more likely to reduce your sleep drive.
- Take light meals for dinner. Taking fried and heavy meals before bedtime are the perfect recipe for a sleepless and uncomfortable night.
- Your fluid intake must be balanced so you don’t wake up feeling thirsty in the middle of the night or feel the urge to go to the bathroom.
- Make the habit of exercising early in the morning or at least three or four hours before you hit the snoozer. Cortisol, a hormone, is released in the body when we exercise. This hormone is responsible for keeping the body alert, which is not exactly a good thing for insomniacs.
- Though light stretches and yoga maybe a good idea and actually improve your sleep.
If you follow through with all of these points, your chance of improving the quality of your sleep is very high. A good night’s sleep can do wonders for your physical and mental health. It contributes a great deal to a happier, livelier and enriched life.
Eugene Gabriel has always been fascinated about sleep and the effects of good quality sleep, or the lack of it, on productivity and overall well being. He’s always on the lookout for mattresses which help improve sleep. Follow him on twitter @eugenegabrielj.