I love sleep. It's one of my favorite things to do. I log in a good 9 hours a night which drives my husband crazy. What he doesn't know is how healthy sleep can be to the human body. Below is a list of the many benefits of logging some Zzzzzz's:
Repairs your body
Promotes heart health by decreasing inflammation
Improves athletic performance
Improves work productivity
Decreases premature aging
Helps you to maintain a healthy weight
Helps you to live longer
Those are some solid reasons to get your rest! But how much sleep should you be getting? After reviewing the research, I found that most experts recommend 7 to 9 hours per night for the average adult. If you typically get less than that, you may want to make some changes. One change is to develop a sleep routine:
Go to bed at the same time every night.
Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, food, exercise, or violent shows before bed.
Sleep in a dark room (or use an eye mask) to promote melatonin production (a sleep hormone).
Sleep in a cooler room.
Use relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or positive thoughts to shut down an overactive mind.
If noise bothers you, use earplugs or something to drown out the sound such as a fan, soothing music, etc.
If your partner consistently snores and it interferes with your sleep, try to find ways to stop the snoring. These can include allergy remedies, nasal strips, propping up on pillows, etc.
Sometimes snoring is caused by sleep apnea. This should be discussed with a doctor. (More on sleep apnea in a later article).
If all else fails, you can sleep in another room. My husband and I do this and it works well.
Wake up at the same time every morning.
Do what you can to promote a healthy sleeping practice. Your body will thank you. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to take a nap!
Animals instinctively know the value of a good snooze.