Between keeping up at my full-time job, working at my part-time job, running my home business, freelancing online, socializing, and working out,?I have a pretty crazy schedule these days. But even with all that going on, or maybe because of all of that going on, I know how important it is to get enough sleep.
Getting enough sleep can have huge benefits for your health and your overall quality of life. Here are just a few benefits of getting enough sleep.
Have you ever noticed that you are more likely to be annoyed at people for silly things like driving slowly in front of you or walking down the middle of the aisle at Walmart when you are sleep deprived? I sure have! Research shows part of this could be from lack of sleep. When you are sleep deprived you have less control over your emotions and reactions.
When I’m overly tired I’m more likely to grab unhealthy food or go out to eat, which can lead to weight gain over time. The reality is that these choices actually make the problem worse. When you are already tired it’s important to make an effort to eat healthily to help counter-act your sleep deprived state.
After a few short nights and long work days, I was eating with my family at a restaurant. When it was my turn to order I had to ask the waiter to repeat himself several times. It sounded like he was speaking a different language, but in reality my brain was just so tired I was having trouble understanding what he was saying. I felt pretty pathetic about it too, haha.
How to Get Better (and More) Sleep
- Turn off your electronics earlier. Don’t watch TV in bed to relax. If you must do something in bed to help you relax try reading a book or magazine next to a soft light source, like a lamp. Using the full overhead light might keep you up longer since it’s so bright. Ditto with the light from a TV or computer.
- Don’t drink caffeine after lunch. Avoiding pop, coffee, and tea in the afternoon and evening will help you sleep better at night.
- Avoid alcohol. We all know (and love) the fact that red wine can actually be healthy for you in moderation. But you should avoid having too much alcohol. Yes, it will make you feel tired at first but most people will wake up in the middle of the night unable to sleep after drinking more than 1-2 drink of alcohol.
- Don’t work in your bedroom. Try to set up a home office space that is not in your bedroom. You should also try to keep your bedroom picked up and clutter free. By keeping the space calm and clean you’re less likely to spend time awake at night thinking of all the things on your to-do list.
- Go to bed earlier. The bottom line is most of don’t go to bed early enough. You should aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. This does not include the time you spend winding down before going to bed.
Do you feel better when you get more sleep? What tricks do you use to get a better night’s sleep?
Photo courtesy of: Moyan Brenn