The Power of Rest

Probably the most underrated part of a healthy life is sleep. Yet, it could be argued that it is the MOST important part of a healthy life. Sleep is when our bodies recuperate. It’s when our brains process each day’s events and our body gets some much needed rest as our cell’s rejuvenate.

How do I start getting more sleep?

Simple, make it a priority. Research shows that for most people the 7-9 hour range is ideal. To know where you should be in that range, experiment and listen to your body. Take note of where your energy levels feel best, when you are most productive and when you feel generally at ease (and not falling asleep at your desk). If you get too much or too little you will feel like you’re dragging and probably have a hard time falling asleep the following night.

Start here with these simple tricks.

  • Make your bed time a habit. This means adhering to a fairly strict bedtime each night (including weekends) so that your body gets used to it. Make sure you allow enough time for getting ready and actually falling asleep.
  • Limit your screen time. We tend to get distracted by our phones, televisions, and computers at the end of our days. Suddenly, we are in the addictive mindset of “just one more minute” or “one more show” and then it’s midnight. You will find as you limit your end of the day screen time that it’s easier to wind down and get to bed on time.
  • Do something relaxing right before bed. Take a bath, read a book, do some gentle yoga or meditate. Have a busy brain? Try journaling before bed to let your thoughts live on the paper until morning.
  • If you’re having trouble getting to sleep: try diving into the rest of your GREEN health practices, it will make a big difference!

The benefits of enough sleep.

  • Mental clarity and ability to focus on tasks
  • Improved memory
  • Better weight management
  • Better quality of life and longevity
  • Decreased risk of depression
  • Decreased risk of common chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and dementia
  • Improved management of anxiety and stress
  • Recover quicker from illness or injury

The science of what your body does during sleep.

  • Your brain stores and categorizes memories.
  • Your brain modifies, builds and tears down neural pathways that are being reinforced, changed or forgotten. (This is why good habits are so important!).
  • Your cells go through a process of rebuilding and optimization.
  • The cell’s “engines” that create energy for all processes (the mitochondria) get a much needed break and reboot for the next day to help the entire body run on all cylinders.
  • Good cells are propagated and bad cells are destroyed.
  • The body manages inflammation that has accrued over the day from stress.

It all starts with getting more sleep TONIGHT! 


10 Top Health Benefits of Sleep. (Link here.)

Sleep Smarter: 21 Essential Strategies to Sleep Your Way to a Better Body, Better Health, and Bigger Success. by Shawn Stevenson (Amazon link here.)

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