Believe it or not, you don’t need to rely on gut-rotting energy drinks to stay energetic and effective in life. One of the best ways to triple your productivity and effectiveness in life is to simply challenge yourself to get some rest and relaxation.
No time to rest? Consider this:
Benefits of getting the rest you need:
- Healing happens when you sleep. The immune system, skeletal, muscular, nervous systems and even wounds are improved during sleep.
- Anabolic (body building) hormones, growth hormones and insulin are secreted during sleep and reduced by poor sleep. What this means is that when you sleep you are giving your body a bath in important chemicals.
- If you are thirty or older, deep sleep will induce a younger hormonal pattern, keeping your body and brain aging more slowly.
- During the most restful stages of sleep, the body secretes a growth hormone that repairs and regenerates tissue throughout the body, no matter what age you are.
- The body’s cells increase in production and reduce the breakdown of proteins during deep sleep allowing the body to help repair damage from things like stress and ultraviolet rays
- The body builds bone and muscle
- The immune system is strengthened
- Cells are repaired
- Free radicals dissolve
- Complex emotions get processed, like stress
- Hormones get regulated which help control weight gain and metabolism
- The subconscious mind can sort through some of the chaos that has been going on in your conscious mind throughout the day. This is important because it is how problems get worked out and the best decisions are made.
Quality is More Important than Quantity!
The body system requires five repetitions of each cycle per night for optimal operations. Each of these cycles takes you through different levels of REM and non-REM states, which accomplish specific tasks.
The time to travel through sleep cycles is different for everyone and can change throughout a lifetime. For instance, five repetitions of sleep cycles may take you six hours, maybe eight.
The best way to find out how much sleep you need is to go to adjust the hours you sleep until you find the hours that you can wake without an alarm clock, feeling energized and ready to start the day.
You might be surprised to find out that you need less sleep and only felt tired so often because you were getting too much sleep.
Too much sleep can leave you feeling sluggish and irritable just as if you do not get enough sleep. It is also not good for your health, in many of the ways that not enough sleep will ruin your health.
If you still feel tired after four to five days of the maximum eight hours, then there are other factors to consider, such as quality of sleep.
Increase the quality of sleep
- Cut out caffeine and alcohol three to five hours before bed time.
- Create bedtime rituals to help cue your mind and body that it’s soon time for sleeping. It could be as simple as brushing your teeth and washing your face. Or it could include meditation or some other relaxing activity.
- Give yourself the best possible sleep experience. Your goal is to remain in DEEP sleep mode for a beneficial amount of time each night.
- Check the lighting in your room and do what you can to eliminate it. Turn your alarm clock away from you so the glow isn’t shining in your face, cover your windows with thicker curtains, and close the door if hallway lights are left on. Or use a sleeping mask to block out light.
- Keep a cooler environment and use an extra blanket for warmth.
- Reduce noise as much as possible. Get ear plugs to block out noise, or use a white noise machine.
- Exercise and meditate during the day. (Both activities increase deep sleep.)
- If your mattress is uncomfortable and you can’t replace it, get a foam topper or feather bed to help.
- Replace your pillows if they are not sufficiently supporting your head and neck.
The importance of sleeping in a clean room
- Keep your sleeping area clutter free. A cluttered room will create mental distractions that will keep your subconscious too active to completely rest.
- Dust! Breathing in dust mite feces all night is not only unhealthy, but super gross if you think about it. Dust also attracts house spiders. Studies state that most people ingest at least 15 spiders in their lives during sleeping. True or not, isn’t it nicer to think spiders won’t like inhabiting a clean bedroom?
- A pleasant-smelling room will help you relax better. Scents like vanilla and lavender have calming elements.
Studies in Greece state that napping at least three times a week for thirty minutes can decrease your risk for coronary disease by up to 37%!
Taking a quick nap to transition between week and home life can help you feel rejuvenated and give you energy for the rest of the day.
Other Restful Activities
Meditation, drawing, coloring, gardening, or playing a musical instrument are just a few ideas of restful activities that increase your pleasure in life and give your mind and body a break.
Don’t underestimate the power of a nice hot bath! The negative ions in water do amazing things to our whole-self systems. Although, about once a week will do! For more information about this, you will want to go HERE. (That means to click on the word HERE, in case you don’t get that…)
Work at least one or two restful activities into your week, even if it’s only for a half hour segment at a time.
If you find yourself struggling to fall asleep because your mind is churning, take five minutes to make a list of everything that is on your mind. When your mind feels that it doesn’t have to actively remember so much, it will calm down.
You can also try to purposely think about restful things to help keep your mind focused on one thing to relax. For instance, daydream about floating around in a calm lake, with a warm breeze gently blowing.
- Is the quality of your sleep allowing you to get the rest you need?
- What can you do to improve the quality of your rest?
- Are you taking time to give yourself breaks throughout the day?
- What else can help you get better rest?