Monday, 11 April 2016

Sleep Your Way to a More Beautiful Life

Image Credit: Unsplash

On average, one-third of our life is spent sleeping. This one-third ensures maximum health, vitality, and energy in the other two-thirds of our life. When we sleep amazing things happen in our body. Though we’re in a dormant state, our body continues working. Hormones are secreted, the immune system is stimulated, and cells are repaired. The brain is also active in processing memories and emotions.

Sleep deprivation adversely affects many areas of our lives. Our cognitive function is reduced, and we often feel tired and clumsy. Lack of sleep can be a contributing factor to many conditions.  These include anxiety, depression, increased blood pressure and diabetes. These are only a few illness caused in part by sleep deprivation. It is thought that for people who consistently have less than six hours sleep per night, that their life expectancy is reduced.

When we do get enough sleep, this has a positive impact in all areas of our life. Our cognitive function and memory are improved. We feel revitalized and energetic, and our creativity is stimulated. Our hair, nails and skin look glowing and healthy. There are countless benefits of getting a good night’s sleep.

Image Credit: Unsplash

How can we improve our sleeping patterns:

1. It’s all in the bed. Make sure your bed is in tip top condition. Old beds and mattresses lose their shape and support, leading to a restless night. Look for beds that provide contouring support and fit your individual shape. Websites like can help you find what you’re looking for.

2. When your bed is sorted, make sure your bedding is adequate. Where possible, opt for sheets and blankets made from ‘breathable’ natural fibers. Choose a pillow that suits your body and sleep position.

3. Make sure the room is dark enough. If your curtains allow in too much light, then opt for black out blinds.

4. Wind down before you go to sleep. Switch off any screens such as the TV, phones, and tablets, etc. Create a ritual and stick to it each night.

5. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and heavy food before you go to sleep. All of these things have a stimulating effect and can keep you awake. Alcohol may make you feel sleepy initially, but you are likely to wake up again in the middle of the night.

When we’re young and healthy, it’s easy to take sleep for granted. In fact, unless we have difficulty sleeping, we don’t give it much thought. It’s a vital part of creating and maintaining a happy and healthy lifestyle.

We often associate the term sleep deprivation with an extreme. However, it can refer to a consistent lack of sleep. If you notice any of the following symptoms, this could indicate that you are suffering from a lack of sleep:

1. The obvious sign is that you feel tired and sluggish. There could be other reasons for this, but it is likely to be caused by a lack of sleep.

2. You constantly feel hungry. If you’re not replenishing your body through sleep, your body may try to obtain more energy through food.

3. You’re forgetful. The brain processes memory through sleep. Therefore, lack of sleep can affect this and as a result, you’re more forgetful.

4. Dips in concentration. Lack of sleep leads to reduced cognitive functions and as a result, it’s much harder to concentrate.

If you recognize these signs, then it might be a sign that you need to address your sleeping patterns. Follow our steps above and sleep your way to a more beautiful life.

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