It’s ironic how we tend to search far and wide for the solution to our never-ending health and wellness dilemmas, thinking that the answers could only be as complicated as the problems. However, we carelessly take for granted the very simple thing that could actually solve many of our issues. From depression, to cognitive decline, to debilitating migraines, to maintaining youthful skin, would you believe that a good night’s sleep is the answer to all of these problems? Sound too good to be true? Not when it’s backed up by science. If you haven’t been spending quality time with your bed lately, that means you’re totally missing out on some of sleep’s most incredible health boons. There are so many blissful benefits of a good night’s sleep and you can achieve them with some simple and effective solutions.
A article in the Business Insider reported that sleep is:
1. The simplest secret to happiness. Believe it or not, just one night of insufficient sleep can have a tremendous impact on your mood the following day. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found that subjects who were limited to only 4.5 hours of sleep a night for one whole week felt more stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted. However, when the same subjects resumed their normal sleep hours, they reported a dramatic improvement in their mood.
2. An effective memory and brain booster. Sleep is proven to enhance memory, promote creative functioning, and improve problem-solving skills. In fact, a study released in Science revealed that learning and sleep cause changes in the motor cortex area of the brain, a region responsible for voluntary movements. According to Professor Wen-Biao Gan of New York University, you will not learn well if you don’t sleep well, as sleep helps neurons form specific connections on dendritic branches that facilitate learning and long-term memory.
3. An anti-aging secret. If you’re not thrilled with the sight of wrinkles and fine lines on your skin, then do yourself a favor: make it a habit to go to bed earlier every night. Based on research published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, women who slept poorly showed accelerated signs of skin aging and were slower to recover from skin damage.
4. A no-pill solution for headaches and migraines. Inadequate sleep can trigger migraines and all kinds of headaches, which explains why episodic migraines are extremely common in poor sleepers. In addition, while lack of sleep increases your pain sensitivity, adequate sleep time works like a low-level pain reliever. This is why individuals suffering from significant pain feel a whole lot better after a good night’s rest.
5. A strong shield against bacteria and viruses. When you sleep, your body produces protective cytokines, antibodies, and cells that guard you against disease-causing bacteria and viruses. Sleep deprivation, on the other hand, not only weakens your immune system and your body’s innate defenses, but makes you vulnerable and unable to recover easily from common colds and diseases.
*To read the entire article in Business Insider go here.
Imagine all these great benefits you’ll get from getting adequate hours of sleep. But how long you should stay in bed can vary from person to person and greatly depends on which age group you
are in. Dr. Charles Czeisler and his colleagues from Harvard University, after a thorough review of over 300 studies on sleep published between 2004 and 2014, recommended that infants should
get 14 to 17 hours of sleep, while teenagers and adults should strive for 8 to 10 hours.
To ensure the quality of your snooze time, practice these good sleeping habits:
1. Avoid using electronic devices like your smartphone or laptop or watching TV at least one hour before bedtime. These devices release artificial blue light which can cause your body’s release of melatonin to be shut down which disrupts your daily circadian rhythm making it hard to fall asleep. If you have to use these devices at night before bedtime, try wearing these UV glasses that block out blue light.
2. Sleep in total darkness by covering your windows with drapes or blackout shades, or wearing a sleep mask.
3. Stick to a regular sleeping schedule even on the weekends.
4. Get some safe sun exposure in the morning, if possible, to reset your circadian rhythm.
5. Invest in high-quality sleeping materials, such as organic mattresses and pillows that are free from toxic chemicals and harmful irritants.
Shelley’s additional tips for blissful sleep:
1. Use a drop of lavender essential oil on the bottom of your feet and 1 drop on your pillow every night. Contact me at shelley@aharmonyhealing to find out which brand I use and to get your own bottle.
2. Listen to music especially created to help you relax and drift off to sleep. I’m a big music lover so listening to music is one of my favorite things to do before bedtime. Some off my personal music favorites for sleep and healing include this assortment of different CD’s: music for healing, ocean waves, forest sounds, or the healing sounds of nature.
3. Use magnesium oil. Magnesium is a very important mineral that many of us are deficient in. Applying magnesium oil topically is easier for the body to absorb and can work better than a oral supplement that may cause digestive upset. I spray magnesium oil on the bottoms of my feet, stomach and thighs before bedtime, let it dry and then hop into bed. Magnesium has many benefits including relaxing your muscles, supporting restful sleep, adrenal health, relieving aches, and helping with detoxification. You can make your own magnesium oil very inexpensively or purchase this high quality brand.
About the Author:
Arrianne Nellaine del Rosario is a writer for Mercola.com. She has written and transcribed many in-depth expert interviews in the past about the effects of supplements like probiotics, colloidal silver, and sulfur, on optimal health. Knowing the importance of a good night’s sleep physiologically, Arrianne maintains healthy sleeping habits despite her hectic work schedule.
Images courtesy of imagerymajestic and Marin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net