Lets Talk about Sleep
Ever since I moved into my new house I’ve been sleeping like a baby. Before this move that was not always the case. When first went away to college I had very very bad insomnia. It kept me up for days on end. It affected my schoolwork, my social life, and my health. Throughout the years my insomnia popped up when I was very stressed, and seemed to go away when I least expected it, only to rear its nasty head in the middle of the night on any random day.
I haven’t been sleeping well these past 2 years. It used to take me anywhere from 2-3 hours to fall asleep. I would just lay in bed, counting, breathing deep, trying to clear my mind, but sleep seemed to evade me for a long time.
Now that we are all settled in my dream home I’ve been sleeping a lot better, but last night it happened again. I went to bed at 11pm and didn’t fall asleep until after 1am. I’m pretty sure last night was a random occurrence. I had a lot on my mind, and I just couldn’t turn it off. These last few weeks I’ve been so exhausted that I’m asleep before my head hits the pillow.
I found these 2 articles about the benefits of Sleep and Ways to get the beauty sleep you deserve. I’m going to rearrange my room, write in my journal on a daily bases, and try to get as much sleep as I possibly can. Enjoy
11 Surprising Health Benefits of Sleep
Sleep makes your feel better, but its importance goes way beyond just boosting your mood or banishing under-eye circles. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more.
Your mind is surprisingly busy while you snooze. During sleep you can strengthen memories or “practice” skills learned while you were away (it’s a process called consolidation)
“If you are trying to learn something, whether it’s physical or mental, you learn it to a certain point with practice,” says Dr. Rapoport, who is an associate professor at NYU Langone Medical Center. “But something happens while you sleep that makes you learn better”
In other words if your trying to learn something new – whether it’s Spanish or new tennis swing – you’ll perform better after sleeping.
Too much or too little sleep is associated with a short lifespan – although it’s not clear if it’s a cause or effect. (Illnesses may affect sleep patterns too.)
In a 2010 study of women ages 50 to 79, more deaths occurred in women who got less than five hours or more than six and a half hours to sleep per night.
Sleep also affects quality of life.
“Many things that we take for granted are affected by sleep,” says Raymonde Jean, MD, director of sleep medicine and associate director of critical care at St. Luke’s – Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City. “If you sleep better, you can certainly live better. Its pretty clear.”
Inflammation is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging. Research indicates that people who get less sleep – six or fewer hours a night – have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get more.
A 2010 study found that C-reactive protein, which is associated with heart attack risk, was higher in people who got six or fewer hours of sleep a night.
People who have sleep apnea or insomnia can have a improvement in blood pressure and inflammation with treatment of the sleep disorders, Dr. Rapoport says.
Get a good night’s sleep before getting out the easel and paintbrushes or the pen and paper.
In addition to consolidating memories, or making them stronger, your brain appears to reorganize and restructure them, which may result in more creativity as well.
Researchers at Harvard University and Boston college found that people seem to strengthen the emotional components of memory during sleep, which may help spur the creative process.
Be a winner
If you’re an athlete, there may be one simple way to improve your performance: sleep.
A Stanford University study found that college football players who tried to sleep at least 10 hours a night for seven to eight weeks improved their average sprint time and had less daytime fatigue and more stamina.
The results of this study reflect previous findings seen in tennis players and swimmers.
Improve your grades
Children between the ages of 10 and 16 who have sleep disordered breathing, which includes snoring, sleep apnea, and other types of interrupted breathing during sleep, are more likely to have problems with attention and learning, according to a 2010 study in the journal Sleep. This could lead to “significant functional impairment at school,” the study authors wrote.
In another study, college students who didn’t get enough sleep had worse grades than those who did.
“If you’re trying to meet a deadline, you’re willing to sacrifice sleep,” Dr. Rapoport says, “but it’s severe and reoccurring sleep deprivation that clearly impairs learning.”
A lack of sleep can result in ADHD-like symptoms in kids, Dr. Rapoport says.
“Kids don’t react the same way to sleep deprivation as adults do,” he adds. “Whereas adults get sleepy, kids tend to get hyperactive.”
A 2009 study in the journal Pediatrics found that children ages seven and eight who got less than about eight hours of sleep a night were more likely to be hyperactive, inattentive, and impulsive.
“We diagnose and measure sleep by measuring electrical changes in the brain,” Dr. Rapoport says. “ So not surprisingly how we sleep affects the brain.”
Have a healthy weight
If you are thinking about going on a diet, you might want to plan an earlier bedtime too.
Researchers at the Universtiy of Chicago found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat – 56% of their weight loss – than those who were sleep deprived, who lost more muscle mass. (They shed similar amounts of total weight regardless of sleep.)
Dieters in the study also felt more hungry when they got less sleep.
“Sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain,” Dr. Rapoport says. “When you are sleepy, certain hormones go up in your blood, and those same hormones drive appetite.”
When it comes to your health stress and sleep are nearly one and the same – and both can affect cardiovascular health.
“Sleep can definitely reduce levels of stress, and with that people can have better control of their blood pressure,” Dr. Jean says. “it’s also believed that sleep effects cholesterol levels, which plays a significant role in heart disease.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in 209 that being tired accounted for the highest number of fatal single-car-run-off-the-road crashes due to driver’s performance – even more than alcohol!
“Sleepiness is grossly underrated as a problem by most people, but the cost to society is enormous,” Dr. Rapoport says. “Sleeplessness affects reaction time and decision making.”
Insufficient sleep for just one night can be as detrimental to your driving ability as having an alcoholic drink.
Steer clear of depression
Sleeping well means more to our overall well-being than simply avoiding irritability.
“A lack of sleep can contribute to depression,” Dr. Jean says. “A good night’s sleep can really help a moody person decrease their anxiety. You get more emotional stability with good sleep.”
If you think the long hours put in during the week are the cause of your anxiety or impatience, Dr. Rapoport warns that sleep cannot necessarily be made up during the weekend.
8 Ways to Get the Beauty Sleep You Deserve
December 28, 201 By Emily Bib
Wake up on the right side of the bed in 2013 with our eight tips to turn your bedroom into a healthy sanctuary. Although you may think of your room as solely a space for shut-eye, it is actually an important part of your overall health. Make sure your bedroom is relaxing by minimizing tech, reducing clutter, or even investing in a new mattress. These simple changes may be your solution to a healthy New Year and all the beauty sleep you’ve been seeking.
Use Scents For Sleep
Scents like lavender have been linked to a better night sleep. Spritz some lavender oil on your pillowcase or light a lavender-scented candle to help you relax and fall asleep faster.
Create a Yoga Nook
If you have the space, do a little rearranging to create a yoga and meditation nook. Having a designated spot makes it easier to relax and stick with your practice. It’s also a great way to practice a 10-minute yoga series when you don’t have time to go to the studio.
Invest in a New Mattress
Keep a Bedside Journal
Journals are a great way to wind down and reflect on your day. They can also be used to set goals and document memories. Add a pen and journal to your nightstand so you can jot down those brilliant ideas or mysterious dreams.
Make Your Room Tech-Free
Although it can be tough to unplug, it’s important to allow yourself time to unwind from your tech. Separating work from relaxation will help you sleep better and decrease anxiety. Also, the artificial light emitted from tech devices suppresses the release of the sleep-producing hormone melatonin, preventing quality Zs.
Keep the Colors Cool
Create a sleep sanctuary by keeping the colors in your room soft and neutral. A fresh coat of paint in relaxing earth tones or new bedding may be just want you need to feel well-rested and refreshed.
Declutter Your Space
A clean space creates a clear mind. Don’t wait until the Spring to organize and declutter. Decrease stress by making sure everything has a space. Not only will this make it easier to unwind at night, it will also make getting ready in the morning easier, too!
I hope you enjoyed these articles, I know I did.