A new month, a new Wellness Challenge, friends! This month, we’re looking at sleep—as in 7-9 hours of it.
April’s Challenge: We challenge you to get a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night.
Sleep is one of our basic needs and it’s essential to our health and wellbeing. During sleep, your heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure decrease for your body and brain to rejuvenate. Major restorative functions, in the body such as muscle growth and tissue repair, happen during sleep.
Most healthy adults need 7-9 hours of sleep regularly to function at their best. Even minimal sleep loss takes a toll on various aspects of your life. Let’s take a look:
- Concentration – When we get the appropriate amount of sleep, we can improve our ability to problem-solve, as well as our memory retention capabilities. Our brains need to feel as rested as possible to be work at maximum capacity.
- Energy – There is an obvious connection between sleep and energy. When we give our body an opportunity to recharge, your store of energy is replenished.
- Heart – Your heart experiences a lot of strain throughout the day and a lack of sleep has been closely linked to heart diseases. The more sleep you get, the stronger your heart will be!
- Immune system – Prone to colds? Seem to catch every bug? Your immune system may be weakened by a lack of sleep. A weakened immune system is a natural by-product of a body functioning at subpar levels.
- Emotions – Not getting enough sleep has the potential to make social interactions difficult. Not only do social and communicative cues become more difficult to recognize, a lack of sleep affects how we react to the behavior of others.
So, what can you do to help you improve your sleep? Try to create a regular sleep schedule where you go to sleep and wake up about the same time each day, even on the weekends. Physical exercise during the day is helpful. Be mindful of when you consume caffeine, alcohol and sugary foods, as they can all disrupt a good night’s sleep. It is also helpful to keep a notebook on your bedside table in the cases where your mind is racing. Writing down your thoughts and ideas can help quiet your mind.
Create a calm, restful sleep environment, assess what factors are affecting your sleep, and make necessary changes to improve the quality and quantity of your sleep. In doing so, you will enhance your capacity to learn, solve problems, make decisions, and create. Establish better sleep habits and…CEEK a Better Way®!