Benefits of Sleep and Key Rest Essentials
It’s no secret that getting a good night of snoozing makes for a much more productive day ahead. There are SO many benefits from getting enough sleep. I personally have experienced many many nights after I’ve had one too many cups of coffee, and end up staring at my bedroom ceiling for hours attempting to count sheep. I’m here to help ensure you don’t spend another night scrolling through the same social media posts you’ve already looked at 3 times before moving onto creating a new Pinterest board(I can’t be the only one who does this)!
Good for the MIND, BODY, & SOUL:
Sleep has a significant effect on your memory and cognitive function. Everyone is more alert after they’ve gotten a good amount of sleep, but your memory can actually be improved WHILE you’re sleeping. According to Dr. Rapoport, who is an associate professor at NYU Langone Medical Center, "if you are trying to learn something, whether it’s physical or mental, you learn it to a certain point with practice. But something happens while you sleep that makes you learn it better." Basically, you will be much more successful overall in anything that you’re working on by getting some proper shut-eye.
Dr. Rapoport also states that “sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain. When you are sleepy, certain hormones go up in your blood, and those same hormones drive appetite.” If you’re trying to lose weight, or even just maintain your current weight, the first thing you should do is make sure you’re getting plenty of z’s. I strongly believe that sleep is the foundation to any successful fitness plan.
Sleep deprivation has negative effects on your general well-being. Don’t let lack of sleep steal your soul! We’ve all experienced a day after being up all night. You feel like a zombie just going through the motions all day until you can go home and SLEEP. You don’t want to lose an entire day of life by feeling...dead. Make sleep a priority!
As much as I try to avoid it, sometimes I just have too much to get done and end up drinking coffee a bit too close to my bedtime. Here are a few key steps to my bedtime routine that have yet to disappoint.. give some of these a try next time you’re having trouble falling asleep and you’ll be off to dreamland in no time!!
Chamomile tea: aka "sleepy tea," has a long list of natural benefits, its main one being the treatment of insomnia and anxiety. This herbal tea is naturally decaffeinated, and is known to help promote restful sleep. Not to mention who doesn't love a warm cup of tea before bed during this FREEZING winter!
Lavender Essential Oil: known for its naturally calming and relaxing effects on the body. Rub a few drops on your wrists, feet, temples, or just go crazy and give yourself a full body rubdown of the stuff...you can't go wrong! A few sniffs of this and you'll immediately feel more at ease as you prepare for bed.
Melatonin: a natural supplement that can be found at any local drugstore or Whole Foods. It's a synthetic form of a hormone produced in the brain that helps adjust and balance your sleep and wake patterns. Make sure to only take this at bedtime, as it may cause drowsiness and impair your reaction time.
Read a book: bright light directly restricts the release of Melatonin in your body. Do your best to avoid using any smartphones or looking at a computer screen at least an hour before you plan on going to sleep.
Sleep sounds/soothing music: always sets the mood for a night of uninterrupted slumber. Making an exception to the no smartphones before bed rule, I'm a big fan of this free app called "Sleep Pillow Sounds" that has a great library of relaxing and naturally recorded sounds that always put me right to sleep. From tropical rain to a mother's heartbeat (for those who don't find this one creepy), there are more than enough options to suit everyone's needs!
Happy snoozing everyone!!