importance of sleep

The Importance of Sleep

Note: This blog post article was written by Rebecca Temsen of www.selfdevelopmentsecrets.com.

Sleep

importance of sleepSleep is the mother of all rest, healing, peace of mind, and emotional stability. So many times, we have seen what happens with our tempers, the structure of our families, and the effectiveness of our jobs when we (or our loved ones) go without sleep. It’s detrimental, it’s starvation-oriented, and it’s decaying. We all need time to rest and be alone in a quiet, peaceful setting.

Sleep is the be-all, end-all of good health, hygiene, romance, and childcare. And, we’re here to prove it.

Cell Biology and Resurrection

  1. First, Our Brains

Your brain is filled with cells which are continually taking in nutrients and eliminating waste. During sleep, your brain can regenerate these pathways and restore cells to their natural, original state.

If you have trouble thinking, studying, working, or problem-solving, there are incredibly high chances that you are not allowing yourself to have enough sleep. Remember that your brain needs to clean out this cellular waste and replace it with renewed cell activity. This can only happen after a good, long night’s sleep.

  1. Then, Our Bodies

The same situation is true for your body. Your cells, organs, bloodstream, and electrolyte balance are all heavily dependent upon the rest and work they get done during your sleep hours, which only happens when you’re asleep, never when you’re awake.

If you think that resting all day will do the job, think again. To stay highly functional, your body needs both high activity and sleep, with moderate activity dispersed in between these two extremes.

  1. Fat Gain is Rampant in People Who Don’t Sleep Enough

If you used to get a lot of sleep and be a lot skinnier, chances are the two things are related. Your body is not able to clean out old cells and old cellular waste when you don’t get enough sleep. This prevents proper nutrition uptake, which essentially starves your cells.

Both the clogging of waste and the nutrition starvation lead to massive ballooning of your body fat. Get more sleep and relax, knowing that your body is about to do a 180-degree turn on the fat accumulation.

The Sleep Bank (Credit and Debt, Included)

  1. Your Specific Required Number of Hours

Everyone needs a different number of sleep hours every night, but we all need a specific minimum amount. Some of us need ten hours or more, and some of us feel bouncy and perky all day at only seven hours. You will need to determine your minimum requirements in this area and ALWAYS satisfy this requirement, each and every night.

“But, surely, I can just catch up on the weekend!” Not necessarily. Your family, friends, and projects will take up your time on the weekend. Slipping further and further behind is easy.

In any case, you will need an actively rested body throughout the week if you want to deliver high-quality results every single weekday. You can’t just go to work and force your way through your job. Willpower alone will only get you so far. It is not a continually renewable resource.

You will have to pay attention to your energy levels, document any strong fluctuations in your energy throughout your workday, and then notice if food, sunshine, fresh air, or horizontal rest work for you the next day. Try out only one thing at a time for a whole week, so that you can get a good read on the situation before making a long-term decision in the way you go about your work.

All of this experimentation is not only necessary, but the rewards pay off in large amounts, in the end. Imagine feeling good, amazingly strong, and “in your flow state” all day long, going home, spending quality and enjoyable time with your family, and then going to bed for a full night’s sleep. Imagine doing that. Every. Single. Day.

Wouldn’t that be worth the extra effort to determine your minimum hours of sleep needed and how you feel throughout the day with different resources in your corner?

  1. The Sleep Debt You Accumulate

sleep debtIf you don’t get the minimum requirement of hours for your personal needs, you will accumulate a sleep debt. For example, if you have one fewer hour than your minimum sleep requirements, you will need to add an hour of sleep onto the next night.

An accumulation of sleep debt over time leads to needing to sleep long weekends, overall depression, loss of hope and optimism, and significant depletions in your creative thinking.

  1. Planning with No Alarm Clock

If you would like to always have enough sleep without your alarm clock waking you up, then plan on going to bed in time to wake up with your minimum number of sleep hours filled before your alarm clock rings.

First, make sure that your sleep debt has been paid off. Then spend all weekend exercising and sleeping in without any regard to the time.

Second, still set your alarm clock (for work, just in case) but go to bed in time to have enough sleep before your alarm goes off. This will ensure that you get your minimum requirement of sleep without interruption from your morning jingle.

Have you noticed that your sleep pattern has changed as you have aged? If so… “Take time to calm down before you turn out the lights. Turn off your electronic devices and TV an hour before bed. You can read a book, listen to music — whatever helps you unwind.” – WebMD, “Getting Better Sleep as You Get Older”

What I Learned in College (With and Without Sleep)

  1. All-Nighters, Test Scores, and the Holy Promise of Straight A’s

If you’re in college, you need to plan on not just the amount of sleep you had before college, but extra rest (every night) because you’re in college.

Why is this? Simply put, your brain is working harder so it needs more rest! It needs more sleep to deal with this. You will have to plan accordingly.

  1. On a 100% Sleep Diet

100% sleep dietIf you want straight A’s, then sleep is far more beneficial than pulling an all-nighter. Of course, this is only true if you have studied the material in the first place.

Your brain can recall facts, figures, dates and complex reasoning 16 times better after a long night’s sleep. However, if you haven’t studied or tried to memorize any of these things yet, it will leave you falling flat on your face.

Save all-nighters for the tests you forgot to do any studying for and keep a daily and nightly schedule of consistent sleep for the rest of your studies (that’s most all of your studies).

  1. A Body at Rest Stays at Rest

Once you have established a proper sleep schedule for college, which always makes you feel well-rested, well-slept, and never drained, don’t mess with it. Of course, you will sometimes need extra time for extra activities like sports, partying, or dates with your sweetheart. However, sleep comes first. Above all else, sleep comes first. Only spend extra time on extra things when you have it. Sleep and studying always come before everything else.

At this time, your body will begin to relax in college life, rather than be stressed out by it, and you will find yourself enjoying your early twenties with great skill and appreciation.

Not Getting Enough Sun? “Get some sun. Make an effort to get outside in the sunlight each day. It’ll let your body know when it’s time to be awake, and when it’s not. But do wear sunscreen.” ~WebMD, “Keeping Your Body at Rest”

Sleep and the Adult Lifestyle

  1. Career Choices and Snoozing

Picking a career and following a career are two very different things, as we all know. Sleep contributes to this because, back in college, we chose our major and our career often during times of extreme sleep deprivation and stress.

In addition to this, once we get to our careers, sleep can be so elusive and so complicated that we give up on it and try to pursue our career paths, anyway. This is a big mistake and here’s why:

Learning a new job and how to deal with your coworkers is complicated enough. Factor in reduced reasoning from lack of sleep and you start seeing office politics where there are none and believing in corporate takeovers when, in fact, everyone is at peace. Do yourself a favor…

  1. The Sleep (and Play) Filled Weekend

Young hotshots on the career path often overwork and under-sleep. This can be fixed. Just make sure that your weekend is not spent at the office but is filled with lots of extra sleep and a lot of play and rough-housing with your family and kids. What if working on the weekend cannot be avoided? If you have to go into the office, make a field trip for your family. Show them what you do, how you do it and bring everyone together in closer intimacy because the importance of your job is maintained, while also not excluding your spouse and children from being exposed to your particular skill set.

The weekend is for both rest AND recreation. Allow your body, soul, and mind to re-create themselves through play and fun and laughter and love. Allow your body to re-create itself through extra sleep and extreme nurturing and self-care.

Does Your Partner Have Sleep Problems? You can Fix This with Exercise. Exercise daily for at least 20 minutes. Try to finish up at least 4 to 5 hours before you go to bed. It leads to better sleep.

Did you know that Digital COMT (Digital Clinical Orthopedic Manual Therapy), Dr. Joe Muscolino’s video streaming subscription service for manual and movement therapists, has an entire folder on Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM), and six separate folders with video lessons on Manual Therapy Treatment? Digital COMT adds seven new video lessons each and every week. And nothing ever goes away! Click here for more information.

My Family, My Life, and My Bed

  1. Why I Got a Nanny (and I’m a Better Mother now)

New mothers and mothers of new babies are the most sleep-deprived demographic in the world. This can be fixed by hiring a nanny for daytime chores. A full-time, live-in nanny would be expensive, but she would be there for both day and nighttime matters.

If you can’t spring for a full-time nanny, you can still get one with excellent references by searching online in your local area. She can take on 2/3 of your day, and you can be there for your child or children during the time of day when you feel the most active and interactive and you can be there for them at night, too.

By delegating time, energy, and tasks to someone else, you will be a better mother or father, you will be able to bring your A-Game to your childcare, and you will feel like playing with your kids all the time, instead of continually shushing them while you try to get a ten-minute nap on the windowsill.

  1. My Kids, Exercise and Sleep

kids and sleepWhat about sleep for the kids? Children notoriously need more sleep than adults, and your pre-teen kids should go to bed at least four hours before you do. Teenagers can go to bed about an hour before you do, and grown kids will be living elsewhere, anyway. All bases are covered.

If your children are having trouble sleeping, they may not be getting enough activity when they’re awake. Make sure that they’re involved with different sports, different physical activities. This will keep them exercised out and ready for bed come bedtime.

  1. Quality Time over Quantity Time, Any Day

Does your sleep schedule make you feel like you’re not spending enough time with your kids? That’s okay, too.

In the world of your kids, quality time is always remembered over quantity time. A fun and good memory will last for several days, where a lifestyle of sitting around together all the time is something you will not remember.

Make sure that the time you DO spend with your kids is high-quality, fun, and memorable. Then, let go of all of your stress and fear about the amount of time involved.

Steps You Can Take to Dramatically Change Your Life

alarm clock

  1. Bedtime (and Sleep Debt) WITHOUT an Alarm Clock

So, you’d like to get started on this lifestyle? Plan your sleep BEFORE you plan your day. Put your night ABOVE your day in your list of priorities. This will be hard to do if you have a family or a demanding job, but it can be done effectively.

First, pay off your current sleep debt. Take your kids to the neighbors for a weekend and sleep it all off until you wake up feeling rested and restored. Only then should you sit down and determine your minimum hours of sleep. If, after you have had a full night of this, you still feel tired, go ahead and add another hour and try this until you are satisfied with your minimum daily requirement of sleep.

Second, plan to go to bed in time to get your minimum requirement every single night, without your alarm clock. By all means, still set your alarm clock because you don’t want to test this theory out before work. However, make sure the full number of hours have been satisfied by going to bed early enough to do this.

Third, plan on moving your lifestyle around this sleep schedule. Make sure you pick up supper, help your kids with their homework, and spend time loving your spouse before you relax for the evening. Plan on resting for the evening before your pre-ordained bedtime. Keep this up every single day, day after day, forever. Don’t compromise the ethics of your sleep and cellular rehabilitation.

  1. Family in the Morning

Spend time with your family in the morning. This means that everyone gets up in time to eat breakfast together, chat about yesterday’s events, and get their gear in order before you all go on your separate days.

Why is this so important?

Evening activities often differ the most among families, and you may not all be spending time together in the evening. However, every morning can be consistent and communal, and this can be a useful element of stability before everyone’s day begins.

  1. What About Naps? I Can Take a Nap When I Need to, Right?

power napsNot necessarily. For some people, “power naps” work. But you can’t always plan on a nap when you need or want one, so perhaps it is best to not try to incorporate it into your daily schedule. Not everyone in your world will be able to accommodate this level of self-sufficiency and independence. You may need to stay loosely and lightly plugged into your network throughout the day. So, don’t bother thinking too carefully about how a nap in the middle of your day might work. Also, you never know when someone may come by your home or office who you’d actually want to meet.

Secondly, naps may throw off your sleep schedule. If you don’t feel tired when you go to bed, you’re not going to sleep. Then, you’ll either keep your partner up or get up and keep yourself awake for a few more hours, thus depleting your sleep schedule and having to start the whole process all over again.

Throwing off your sleep schedule is the primary reason why naps often don’t work. If you’re ready for bed and you’re still wired tight, there can be disjointed energy between you in the home, instead of everyone essentially rising and resting at the same time. Keep your time in line with everyone else’s and watch all of you have a better life.

Conclusion

In conclusion, remember that a good night’s sleep can cure most things in life. If things still seem slightly drab in the morning, give it another good night’s sleep, and see if that eliminates the problem. Many people find that rest and relaxation, while wonderful, cannot replace actual snoozing and dreaming by any stretch of the imagination. Plan your sleep, plan your night, and watch your days turn around dramatically for the better.

(Click here for the blog post article: Healthy Lifestyle: How to Maintain a Fitness Routine without Burning Yourself Out.)

Did you know that Digital COMT (Digital Clinical Orthopedic Manual Therapy), Dr. Joe Muscolino’s video streaming subscription service for manual and movement therapists, has an entire folder on Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM), and six separate folders with video lessons on Manual Therapy Treatment? Digital COMT adds seven new video lessons each and every week. And nothing ever goes away! Click here for more information.

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