Why is sleep so important?
You’ll live longer — Chronic insomniacs are more likely to suffer a heart attack than those who sleep well. Some studies have linked lack of sleep to a higher risk of dying from a stroke and developing cancer.
You’ll look better — It’s called beauty sleep for a reason! Swedish researchers took photos of people when they were well rested and then again when they were sleep-deprived. Strangers rated the plenty-of-zzz’s shots as more attractive.
You’ll be slimmer — People who slept five hours or fewer per night were 32 percent more likely to experience major weight gain over 16 years, according to a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Too little sleep causes an increase in ghrelin, an appetite-stimulating hormone, and a decrease in leptin, which helps you feel full.
You’ll be smarter — Shorting yourself on rest ages your brain by four to seven years. people who slept fewer than six hours a night tallied scores on memory, reasoning, and vocabulary that resembled those of senior citizens.
You’ll be nicer — Exhaustion takes a toll on your morals, according to a recent study in the Academy of Management Journal, which showed that a lack of sleep increased deviant and unethical behavior and made people more rude.
Convinced yet? Nearly one-third of American women use some kind of sleep aid at least a few nights a week but beware of side effects, which include dizziness, sleepwalking, and even addiction. Skip the risk and try these better sleep tips tonight.
Tips For a Better Night’s Sleep
Unplug — Cozying up to your beloved laptop in bed or nodding off to the tv could disrupt your zzz’s. Not only is the content on the screen stimulating, but electronics emit a blue hue that mimics daylight. It stops your body from producing the sleep hormone melatonin. As a rule, turn off all gadgets at least one hour before bedtime.
Ease up on Caffeine — Caffeine lingers in your system for up to 12 hours, so that 3 p.m. java can still have a hold on you come bedtime. When coffee cravings hit after noon, reach for a cup of decaf. If you’re desperate for an energy boost, try going for a brisk walk around the block instead of drinking that cup of joe.
Build a Great Nest — Considering how many hours you spend in your bed, it might be overdue for an upgrade. First, the mattress: the most common bedding mistake people make, says Zee, is not replacing it often enough. Most can last about 5 to 10 years; if yours is sagging, it’s probably already past its prime. When buying sheets, make breathability the top priority. Your body’s temperature changes as you move through different sleep stages, so you need sheets that can handle the fluctuations. Go for natural fibers like cotton and silk.
Keep Your Cool — Set the thermostat to around 65°F, plus or minus 5 degrees. That’s the range in which your body can stay comfortable without having to do anything, like shiver to heat itself up or perspire to cool down.
Hit the Gym in the A.M. — Exercise reduces stress, so it’s good for sleep, but it also increases your body’s core temperature, making it tough to drift off. Morning work-outs improve sleep quality more than late-day exercise.
Make your Bed — Once you’ve got your pretty new threads, don’t leave them in a heap when you get up in the morning. Aesthetics aside, taking a moment to tidy up may help you sleep better at night. In fact, 44 percent of people who make their beds daily report snoozing more soundly than those who don’t. Researchers speculate that a messy room can make you feel more stressed and restless.
Follow Your Nose — The scent of lavender may improve your sleep quality, according to a study conducted at Wesleyan University. Researchers found that people who took a whiff of lavender oil before going to bed spent more time in deep slumber and awoke feeling more energetic than those who sniffed plain water.
Thanks to Windsor Spine Center for this info!