If you are feeling run-down, are struggling to focus, or are feeling irritable for no clear reason, you may want to look into your sleep patterns. Maintaining adequate amounts of quality sleep is essential to your optimal health and well-being.
In a fast-paced environment, many people forgo sleep and overextend themselves to catch up on work. Even if you’re entirely unfocused, producing sloppy work and strung out, pulling late hours at work while hunched over your computer is likely to get you a pat on the back and a gold star for effort. Kinda crazy, don't you think?
But what if you could wake up every morning feeling refreshed, focused, and excited to move through your day?
Getting more sleep improves your quality of life.
Increases your energy to get the things on your to-do list done, and maybe more
Strengthens your immune system
Heightens alertness, focus and creativity
Improves mood & reduces anxiety, irritability and mental exhaustion
Increases libido (sex drive)
Critical body activities occur when you sleep.
Your body rests & recovers by rebuilding tissues & muscles and synthesizing proteins.
Horemones that regulate appetite, stress, growth, and moetabolism are produced.
Your brain stores new memories and sorts through and retains new information.
How sleep deprivation hurts you:
You're more likely to gain weight - Leptin, your satiety hormone, is significantly reduced when you're sleep deprived. This hormone plays a big role in appetite control and metabolism, so having low levels results in hunger not being naturally suppressed. Cue the cravings.
You're at a higher risk for illness - You're immune system is off it's game, and inflammatory proteins and blood sugar levels are haywire. You're body isn't able to do the work to keep you healthy, because it never rests. This results in a greater risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and infection.
You're at a higher risk of injury - Sleep deprivation leaves you exhausted, physically and mentally. Little mishaps during a workout can lead to big injury.
You're brain isn't running at full speed - Mental fog and exhaustion leaves you performing at less than your best. Your ability to process new information is impaired, which can impact your mood, focus, and high-level cognitive function.
Your probably a bundle of emotions - Irritability, anxiety, sadness, and anger are probably common feelings for you, if you're sleep deprived. You may even find that you're more likely to laugh or cry, regardless of what you're experiencing. Hello, slap happy Sally
Okay, so how much sleep do you need?
Everyone requires quality sleep for optimal health and well-being, though how many hours vary depending on the individual and their age group.
0-2 months 12-18 hrs 3-11 months 14 to 15 hrs 1-3 years 12 to 14 hrs 3 to 5 years 11 to 13 hrs 5-10 years 10 to 11 hrs 11 to 17 years 8.5-9.5 hrs 18+ years 7-9 hrs
10 Steps for Better Sleep
1. Maintain a consistent daily schedule. 2. Exercise regularly. 3. Ditch the coffee & caffeinated drinks. 4. Limit your drinks before bed. 5. Turn off the electronics in the bedroom. 6. Keep your bedroom dark and quiet. 7. Don't sleep on a full stomach. 8. ...or on a growling stomach. 9. Invest in a comfy bed and bedding. 10. Try to go to bed & wake up naturally.