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To sleep or not to sleep is often what rolls around in your head when you lie there awake. I know how much my mood, energy, and productivity get zapped when I can’t get my the usual 7 hours. What about you? Our guest blogger Mira Rakicevic gives us a great guide and infographic on how lack of rest impacts body and mind. Enjoy and Goodnight!

A Good Night’s Sleep

by Mira Rakicevic

Some things in life are simple. If you want to lose weight, you start a diet. When you want to work out, you go to the gym. However, leading a healthy life is another matter altogether. It requires being mindful of how you eat, move, and most importantly – when and how you rest.

Sadly, almost 30% of the US population report that they are sleeping less than the ideal amount for their age group. How can we improve these stats? Check out the list below to find out what you need to try or avoid to ensure you get the best amount of zzz’s possible.

Good Rest means sleeping better, and a good pillow is an important start, as illustrated by this alam clock sleeping against a big pillow.

Why So Important?

Getting the ideal amount of rest has numerous benefits to your health. It keeps your heart healthy and your brain active and sharp. Good sleep quantity and quality are known to reduce risks of obesity and long-term illnesses, such as diabetes. Furthermore, it acts as a mood booster that affects your lifestyle and personal relationships.

What To Do?

1. Have a regular sleep routine. Going to bed and getting up at approximately the same time regulates your internal clock, i.e., your circadian rhythm, which has a long-term effect on your sleep quality.

2. Do yoga or meditation before bed. This relaxes both the brain and the body, and calms them down enough for a restful night.

3. Create a sleep-inducing environment.  Noise and light impact rest, but so does room temperature. Make sure that your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet for optimal going-to-bed time.

4. Choose the right bedding. In order to catch more ZZZs, choose a comfortable mattress and the right kind of pillow for your sleeping position.

5. Get as much sunlight during the day. Natural light is not only proven to wake you up in the morning but also to contribute to a sound slumber with its effects on sleeping patterns.

What Not To Do?

1. Avoid coffee in the afternoon and evening. Experts recommend that the last cup of joe in the day shouldn’t be later than 2 pm.

2. Drinking alcohol before bed probably won’t affect how fast you fall asleep. However, it will impact the quality of your rest, as alcohol consumption has been linked to sleep disturbances.

3. Like caffeine, nicotine is also a stimulant. This means that smoking cigarettes in the evening keeps you alert and awake.

4. Limit your food intake. Big meals in the evening can make you feel bloated and cause heartburn during the night.

5. Turn off electronic devices. ALAN, or artificial light at night, have an extremely negative impact on sleep by raising melatonin levels in the body. Melatonin is the hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle, so it is very important to avoid screens for at least one hour before bedtime.

To Conclude

Sleep deprivation equals health problems, sleep disorders, and more stress. All of the things no one wants in their lives. To avoid these problems, make rest a priority and don’t forget about its importance to a healthy lifestyle. Take a look at the infographic for more information

Thank you Mira! Who is Mira? Read! and check out her website here.

To Sleep or Not To Sleep?

After reading Mira’s great contribution I know how sleep is not an option but a must. The tips she shared are very useful, and link to the infographic shows the level of research that has gone into this article. Thanks so much and Good Night!

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