We all know that we feel better after a good night’s sleep. But researchers tell us that a good sleep is actually extremely good for our health, including preventing diseases. Those who sleep 7-9 hours a night have healthier hearts and sleep reduces inflammation. That’s good for us because inflammation creates more risk for heart-related conditions, as well as cancer and diabetes.
Sleep reduces stress (once we’re actually asleep!), but sleep also improves our memory and “short naps” have proven to actually make people smarter! (Einstein and Winston Churchill were both “nappers”).
Sleep fights depression, and believe it or not, sleep might help you lose weight because it is thought that the lack of sleep impacts the balance of hormones in the body that affect appetite.
Best of all, it is during sleep that the body repairs itself. Your cells produce more protein while you are sleeping. These protein molecules form the building blocks for cells, allowing them to repair damage – that means a healthier you and for older adults, fewer wrinkles!
Source: Mark Stibich, Ph.D.
7 tips for a good night sleep
Try one at a time and check the following morning to see if your sleep quality improves.
- Go to bed the same time every night and rise at the same time each morning.
- Strive for 7-8 hours of sleep every night–try going to bed earlier.
- Declutter your bedroom. This calms your mind and environment.
- Ban all electronics and work related items from your bedroom.
- Discontinue all caffeine products by noon to allow this stimulant to be cleared from your system before bedtime.
- Sleep in a pitch dark bedroom. Use a sleeping mask if light seepage cannot be eliminated.
- Wear socks to bed, particularly if you are susceptible to cold feet and hands.
Tips are from Donene Lashbrook