The Importance of Sleep
Sleep is a restorative process. While we're sleeping, our brain is usually cycling through the 3 levels of sleep: light, deep and REM. Sleep restores, rejuvenates and energizes the body and brain. Our immune systems are recharged, tissue grow and repair themselves, and our bodies conserve energy.
Dangers of Sleep Deprivation
Unfortunately, to many sleep is not valued. In this "open all night" society we now live in, four out of ten Us citizens are trading much-needed sleep hours for longer hours at the office, gym, club and other routines which seem more important or interesting. What they may not realize is that lack of sleep takes a toll on our mental and physical well being. Studies performed by the National Sleep Foundation present that even minimal sleep loss has a profoundly detrimental impact on disposition, cognition, performance, productivity, communication skills, accident rates and general health. For optimal functioning throughout the day, the average adult needs between seven to nine hours sleep a night. According to the NSF, the American adult population functions on about six and a half hours of sleep per night.
For some, lack of sleep is not a choice, but a condition. Millions of Americans suffer from insomnia. According to the NSF, a third of Us citizens are using over the prescription or counter sleep aids at night. If you suffer from insomnia, below are a few tips to help you get some shut eye:
• Pray before bedtime. The bible shows us to "Cast your burden upon the Lord. Don't go to bed with a heavy load. Give it to God. Remember Joy comes in the morning"
• Avoid caffeinated foods and beverages like coffee, teas, soft drinks and chocolate 3 to 4 hours before bedtime.
• Exercise regularly, but complete your workout at least three hours before bedtime. Keep your body calm.
• Make sure your mattress is the right one for you. Flip your mattress over periodically.
• Develop a bedtime ritual. Taking a warm bath 90 minutes before bedtime will relax your body and usually make you feel sleepy.
• Make sure your bedroom is noiseless and comfortable.
• Have a glass of warm milk.
• Play relaxing music.
• Go to bed and wake up the same time every day. When your sleep cycle has a regular rhythm you will feel better.
Be a Sleeping Beauty
A friend of mine once told me that a woman should found herself to her hubby at bedtime like a found. Interesting...so I polled a few colleagues and found overall nearly all husbands prefer their wives to be lingerie clad at bedtime. Nude emerged in a very close second and pajamas were considered very un-sexy. Wives preferred their hubbys use only boxers to bed. Whatever your sleepwear preference, bedtime is the opportunity to prepare your mind and body for the rest it deserves. Below are a few more tips to help you sleep pretty:
• Generally remove your makeup and cleanse your face thoroughly before bed. Going to bed without washing your face not only leads to mascara-stained sheets but the dirt picked up during the day can clog pores and lead to acne.
• Brush and floss your teeth.
• Vaseline works wonders on rough areas while you sleep. Try it on foot, elbows, and knees and dab a little on your lips too.
• There are several night creams on the market now claiming to be more effective if applied at bedtime, use the one which suits you
• If you wrap your hair in a scarf at bedtime, remember to wash it regularly.
• Wear your extravagant nighties to bed. Don't save them for a special occasion. You are a special occasion.
• After your bath or shower ritual slather on a lotion that relaxes you and helps you fall asleep.
Here's wishing you brighter days and more restful nights!
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