OK, self-care is pretty fashionable these days. But we’ve gone beyond the type of self-care that just looks good on Instagram, and we’re getting back to the basics.
There’s no need to throw away your activewear or cancel the green juices, but it’s worth simplifying where you can. Believe it or not, one of the most important factors in improving our health is the simplest—but at times the most difficult to come by: sleep.
It’s often the first thing we sacrifice when we’ve got our hands full. A sunrise workout or a moonlit dinner date may cause shifts in our sleep schedule, but the reality is that exercise, nutrition and sleep are all key players in our health and wellbeing. It’s important we get a healthy serving of all three.
Sleep can wait… right?
Sleep is our reset button. It’s the way we let our body take some time to restore and get ready for another day. There’s not a single one of the brain’s principle operations—learning, memory, creativity, attention and emotional regulation—that isn’t enhanced by catching adequate zeds.
So getting the right amount of good quality sleep: tick. But what happens when we don’t get enough? Bad news bears, that’s what.
Obesity, heart attacks, high blood pressure and a decline in mental health all have strong ties to inadequate sleep.
So, if you’ve been looking for reasons to spend more time in bed, this is it—a good night’s sleep can have a huge impact on your health.
What’s so great about sleep anyway?
If “you know you feel better after a decent snooze” isn’t enough for you, here are four more benefits of a healthy sleep routine.
“Cough, cough. I’m sick.”
Sick of getting sick? A lack of sleep could be the problem.
While we sleep, our body produces and releases certain proteins that target infections and inflammation – ultimately fending off nasty bugs. So if your immune system is feeling wonky, try increasing your sleep hours.
What you’re really craving is sleep
There’s no magic bullet for weight loss, but sleep deprivation will definitely throw a spanner in the works.
Studies have shown that a lack of sleep increases hunger-stimulating hormones, and reduces the hormones that suppress your appetite. So next time you find yourself reaching for a 2pm mallow puff, ask yourself: “wait—did I sleep enough?”.
Sleep is good for your ❤️
Studies have shown adequate sleep can positively improve your heart health. But a lack of sleep can contribute to some serious problems for your ticker: insomnia is linked with high blood pressure and heart disease.
The time to prevent these issues is while you’re young! So skip the late night study session—get a good night’s sleep, and you’ll be able to take care of it in the morning.
Moody? Give it a rest.
If you’re cranky, or find yourself plotting petty revenge on your workmates, a bad night’s sleep could be the culprit.
Those who suffer from chronic sleep debt may find themselves feeling down, anxious and stressed—it cuts both ways too, with stress making it more difficult to get to sleep. We have to put our mental well-being first and we can start with checking our sleep schedule.
Through the wellness minefield; three pillars have withstood the test of time: movement, nutrition and sleep. We’ll leave the first two to the experts; but if you’re wanting to learn about sleep, you’ve come to the right place.