What an opportunity to start 2018 in a different way, a new way, even a fun way. Rather than making New Year’s resolutions, which inevitably fall short for the majority, focus on small daily change. What change are you willing to create in you that are realistic and attainable. There are a few basic ingredients one needs to live life well, to feel well! This simple recipe is made up of the most basic living ingredients which include sleep, healthy diet, exercise and managing the mind.
Over the next few weeks leading up to the New Years, I will focus on blogging each of these ingredients to live well and inspire changes in each of you. The first most important ingredient everyone needs is SLEEP. Sleep is definitely not overrated nor can be shortchanged. You can never recover sleep back. The sleep ingredient for living well is the foundation of all the other ingredients.
Sleep is the bodies way of plugging into your bed to recharge the battery of your physical, emotional and mental self. When we get enough sleep, we feel more alert, more energetic, happier, and we can overall function better. Sleep truly is restorative.
According to WebMD, insufficient sleep is directly linked to some concerning health problems including heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes and even obesity.
Here’s another interesting thought to think about. 26% of people in a poll stated that their sex lives tend to suffer because of a lack of sleep leading to tiredness. For men, this even gets worse. There is evidence that men who compromise their sleep are actually running a risk of lowering their testosterone levels.
Here are some other facts regarding the benefits of sleep according to Laura Barns (2017) from Health and Wellbeing.
1. Sleep helps reduce stress
2. Sleep can improve your memory
3. Sleep can lower your blood pressure
4. Sleep helps your body to fight back
5. Sleep can help you maintain your weight
6. Sleep puts you in a better mood
7. Sleep could support in reducing your chances of diabetes
8. Sleep helps keep your heart healthy
9. Sleep can be a painkiller
10. Sleep can make you smarter
In order to optimize the benefits from sleep, research suggests that adults require 7-9 hours of sleep and children even require more daily. Creating good sleep hygiene habit are essential to your success here which include unplugging electronics a few hours before bed to let your brain settle. Avoid eating large meals or snacks prior to bed. Develop healthy pre-sleep routines such as reading, meditating, listening to calm music, taking a relaxing bath, and ensure that you are in bed at a consistent time every night. Allow yourself enough time to relax your body and brain before you go to bed.
Creating changes each day and committing to these daily changes create lifelong changes to improve your quality of life and wellness. Start this journey with sleep.
December 17th, 2017