Sleep is a third of your life, make sure you do it right
You do it everyday, well you should at least. Sleep. Sleep is something you can hate or love, it doesn’t matter you need it. In the time we are living in there seems to not be enough time in the day. You might often find yourself burning the candle at both ends. How much do you really need? How much can you get by on? Let’s look at some research!
Everyone knows that the average person needs about 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. I’m sure you might think you’re one of the special edition people that doesn’t need that. Well you’re wrong as sh*t. According to a study done by researchers at UCSF only 3% of the population have the X-men style gene that allows you to function fully on 6 hours of sleep. So get that narcissistic thought out of your mind, you’re not one of them! And for those of you who try to get by with only 6 hours, that’s the equivalent to having a few drinks and driving. Even worse, if you stay up 21-24 hours that’s basically the same as being drunk!
If you need some motivating factors to get sleep, why anyone needs motivation to shut down is beyond me but let’s see what you’re gaining while sleeping. For starters, it helps fight weight gain. Yes, that’s right. You loose weight when you sleep. Think about when you’re tired and need to wake up… you reach for a snack. That’s because sleep deprivation makes you hungry. On top of that, when you stay up late you generally eat something. Most of the time what is that meal? It’s fatty and full of extra calories. If you’re in America reading this, you or someone near you is overweight. Sleep might be the ultimate diet.
Next bonus to sleeping well is your health. Beyond over eating there are other serious health risks that can be avoided by getting a good nights sleep on a regular basis. Disease for instance, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular problems… all can be reduced with some shut eye.
So we know that sleep is vital to your health, but how can you improve your sleep? First off, don’t fear a good nap. If you have time in the day and could use a nap, have at it! Winston Churchill coined the term “Power Nap,” look who won the second world war…
Let’s see what you can do before bed to get better sleep. We’ve pulled the list from an expert on the topic, Arianna Huffington. If you like the list, you can get her book, The Sleep Revolution: Transforming your life, one night at a time, here.
- Have your bedroom temperature set to 60-67 degrees
- Shut down electronics 30 minutes prior, also iPhone owners – put it on Night Shift in the evening!
- Pets off the bed, sorry ladies, but it’s a distraction
- No work in the bed – you should only use your bed for sleep or sex.
- Read – no kindles or work related. Use a real book, so if you doze off it won’t break if it falls to the floor. It’s also better on your tired eyes. And for gods sake, put the work down until morning.
- Drink some tea before bed
So to wrap it up, sleep is crucial to healthy living. Not only do you need it often, you need a lot of it! And for those of you who suffer from restless nights, give those tips a try and see if it doesn’t help you out!