The Importance of Sleep

Sleep is crucial to a person’s mental and physical health. When you sleep, you allow your body ample time to heal and repair for what’s to come the next day. Your body needs that time to rest and recharge. When we don’t get enough sleep, you will begin to experience a variety of unpleasant side effects. If your body becomes deprived of sleep for long periods of time, it becomes extremely dangerous to your health.

The Importance of Sleep

It’s important to know that your body goes through 5 stages of sleep. Each stage of sleep is vital to ensure you wake up feeling rested. When even one of those stages is interrupted, you will notice negative side effects the next day.

According to Tuck.com, A complete sleep cycle takes an average of 90 to 110 minutes, with each stage lasting just 5 to 15 minutes. Stages 1-4 are non-REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and stage 5 is REM sleep. “REM sleep stimulates the brain regions used in learning. This may be important for normal brain development during infancy, which would explain why infants spend much more time in REM sleep than adults. Like deep sleep, REM sleep is associated with increased production of proteins” (psychcentral).

Without adequate sleep, you may experience some of the following troublesome symptoms:

  • Trouble remembering things
  • Negative moods, quick to anger or become irritable and more emotional
  • Weight gain due to increased appetite
  • Weakened immune system

In order to get a good night’s rest, we must eliminate as much stress as possible. Setting a nightly routine can be very beneficial in doing so. Below are some tips you could try implementing into your nightly ritual to help ensure better sleep.

  • Set a bedtime. Start by figuring out what time you need to get up in the morning and how many hours of sleep you need to properly function. Below are the recommendations from the National Sleep Foundation.

  • Set a time you want to start winding down. This should be at least 2 hours before you plan on getting into bed.
  • Make sure your meals are packed and prepared for the next day. Prepare coffee for the following morning, breakfast, water bottles, lunches, and have a plan for dinner.
  • Make sure all of your normal chores are done. The dishes are done and the sink is empty, no laundry is left in the washing machine, any clean clothes you have washed are folded and put away. Do a quick reset around your home. Taking care of the clutter makes for a more peaceful environment when trying to wind down. You will be able to relax and wind down without being stressed about the chores or clutter you have piling up around you.
  • Lay out your clothes for the next day to avoid rushing around and stressing because you can’t find what you need.
  • Try not to drink alcohol or eat a heavy meal or snack too close to bedtime as that will have a negative effect on your sleep pattern.
  • Do something that relaxes you. Things like sudoku, reading, word searches, crosswords, solitaire, etc. are great things to do before bed. Try to avoid watching TV when trying to go to bed. The light from the TV will affect your sleep pattern and if you’re watching something you really enjoy and want to pay attention to, chances are you’ll stay up later. It’s suggested to turn off all electronics an hour before bedtime and avoid any bright lighting.
  • Try putting on lotion with soothing scents.
  • Make sure your bedroom is a comfortable temperature.
  • Have a warm cup of tea. Try Celestial’s Sleepytime tea.
  • Try yoga or stretching before bed to relax your body and your mind. If you’ve never tried yoga before, try the simple yoga sequence below or give one of our Thursday night Yoga classes a try! Click the image below to access a free printable!

Which tips will you try to implement into your nightly routine? Do you have any useful tips? Feel free to share them with us!

DID YOU KNOW?
You can actually lose brain tissue after just one night of sleep deprivation?
– The Huffington Post
When you fall asleep while overthinking, the mind remains active as if you were awake which is why you tend to wake up tired.
– ThePsychMind.com
If you feel tired even after a good night’s sleep, you may be dehydrated. Drinking water can help you wake up.
– ThePsychMind.com

Sources:
www.sleephealth.org
https://www.better-sleep-better-life.com/
https://www.tuck.com/stages/
https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-importance-of-rem-sleep-dreaming/

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