Most of us have heard the quote that refers to falling asleep equated to counting sheep, but if you are like me and my mind at bedtime that never works. And yet, sleep is one of the important keys to your health. There are thousands of studies on the benefits of sleep as well as the detriments of the lack of sleep, but I thought I would write about it anyway this month as now is a perfect time to change your sleep habits.
Let’s first take another look at the benefits. Here are seven that are common:
- Boosts your immune system
- Prevent weight gain
- Strengthens your heart
- Improves your mood
- Increases productivity
- Increases exercise performance
- Improves memory
Who wouldn’t want those?
As for the detriments – lack of sleep can be dangerous. According to a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, you’re twice as likely to get in a car accident when you’re cruising on six to seven hours of sleep compared to if you get a full eight hours. Sleep less than five hours and your chances of a crash quadruple! That’s because your reaction time slows way down when your brain isn’t fully rested.
(resource: The Benefits of Getting a Full Night’s Sleep)
In her book, Thrive, Arianna Huffington discusses much of the research about sleep and shares her own story of how dangerous sleep deprivation can be. She also shares some insights into how we can go about changing our habits around sleep, such as:
- Get a new pillow
- Make the room darker and colder
- Practice deep breathing before bed
- Exercise or walk daily.
But there is one more sleep-thief that we must address – our technology devices. All day, every day we seem to be tied to our devices, whether it be our phones, computers, or TV. How in the world do we extract ourselves from that? It is harder than you might think. This article shares 3 important reasons you should put your phone away before bed and some tips on how to do it.
So, this is one of my new year intentions – to get better sleep. I would love for you to join me as we journey towards better health and wellness in 2021. If you would like to learn more about how to improve your overall health I would love to connect with you. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time…