When I’m not keeping you up to date on Threads Podcast: Life Unfiltered, I try to post little things to the blog that might help us all keep it together as things appear to get worse around us. As we prepare for whatever lies ahead, go listen to the podcast, and enjoy reading about 4 big benefits of sleep:
Sleep is HUGE, people. Absolutely huge. I mean, most of my life was spent with me being tired. From the time I was in upper elementary to…just a few weeks ago! It was a combination of things that led to my recently loss of about 16 pounds. The best part was, I didn’t have to change much of my routine. I started intermittent fasting (which I’m sure I’ll blog about sooner or later) but also committed to a regular sleep schedule.
The two combined to help me lose weight without much extra physical effort, but sleep may have had more to do with it than I thought. You see, I never thought much about sleep beyond it being something I would eventually have to do. I would shoot for 5-6 hours. Sometimes less. But hey, that’s what coffee is for, right?
Sleep, as I hope to show you, has so much more to do with health, in general, than most people realize. There are so many reasons to get a good night’s sleep. And, if you’ll allow me to explain, I’ll also throw in some pro tips at the end for how to get the best sleep possible.
But first, lets go over the 4 reasons we should all be getting our 7+ hours of sleep every night possible.
Reason #1: Sleep Helps Lose Weight
According to England’s National Health Service (NHS), “people who sleep less than 7 hours a day tend to gain more weight and have a higher risk of becoming obese than those who get 7 hours of [sleep].” They say this is because sleep deprivation causes “reduced levels leptin (the chemical that makes you feel full) and increased levels of ghrelin (the hunger-stimulating hormone).” Sleep, according to the CDC, may also help people with type-2 diabetes control their blood sugar, and as well as lower blood pressure!
Reason #2: Sleep Increases Libido
Several sources say that there’s a direct connection to healthy sexual appetite and sleep. If you like sex, get a good night’s rest. If you don’t…well, that’s a different post, I guess.
While we’re talking about sex, sleep (according to the NHS) also increases fertility; lack of sleep reduces reproductive hormones–in men AND women.
Reason #3: Sleep Fuels The Brain
The National Institute of Health (NIH) wrote, “If you’re sleep deficient, you may have trouble making decisions, solving problems, controlling your emotions and behavior, and coping with change.” They also say, “Studies show that a good night’s sleep improves learning. Whether you’re learning math…or how to drive a car, sleep helps enhance your learning and problem-solving skills [as well as helping] you pay attention, make decisions, and be creative.”
Reason #4: Sleep Promotes Healthy Thinking
A Healthline article says sleep deprivation can trigger mania in bipolar people, as well as increasing these psychological risks:
How do you get better sleep?
Here, from the CDC, is a simple list of things to do (and not do) to get your best night’s sleep.
- Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends.
- Get enough natural light, especially earlier in the day. Try going for a morning or lunchtime walk.
- Get enough physical activity during the day. Try not to exercise within a few hours of bedtime.
- Avoid artificial light, especially within a few hours of bedtime. Use a blue light filter on your computer or smartphone.
- Don’t eat or drink within a few hours of bedtime, especially alcohol and foods high in fat or sugar.
- Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.
Hopefully this helps. If you were too tired to make it through this post without grabbing for your Mountain Dew, maybe you need more sleep. So stop caffeinating all day! Sheesh. You’ll never fall asleep like that, homie.
All right. Seriuosly, though–thanks for stopping by. Go listen to the show. They just put out their 100th EPISODE!!!!!!!!!
And, as always, take care of yourselves!
Christopher Tallon writes, podcasts, and…wait a second. Are you actually reading this? High five!
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