Sleep is the number-one key to successful health. You need a good seven to eight hours of sleep everyday if you can.
If you are feeling down or depressed this is where to start. I don’t mean lay on the sofa all day, eating snacks, watching the TV, with crumbs all over your chest. I mean a proper night’s sleep.
My first mobile phone did two things: You could make a call or you could send a text. That was it. The battery lasted about a week on one charge.
Now I have a smart phone that does everything: Sat Nav, Web browser, Email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, News Service, Mapping, pedometer, camera, camcorder, photo editor, dictionary, thesaurus, word processor, Kindle reader, calculator… The list is endless! The battery needs charging every day.
Human beings are more like a multi-tasking smart phone than my old two-purpose phone. We need a full charge every day. And it is far better to establish a good routine where sleep is part of the deal rather than snatching a little bit when we are utterly exhausted.
I see people all the time who keep working long hours and then don’t switch off in the evenings. They think it’s OK to work while everyone else sleeps and then catch a couple of hours before breakfast and ‘wing it’ the next day. That is a recipe for sickness, disease and emotional breakdown.
Why we need to sleep.
Sleep helps you solve problems by energising your creativity. Have you ever noticed that when you are facing a problem that seems insurmountable, when you ‘sleep on it’ you often wake the next morning and think of a solution quickly. That is because sleep renews your problem solving powers. Sleep regenerates every neuron in the brain devoted to creativity.
Chronic, long-term insufficient sleep increases the likelihood of you getting of diabetes, depression, heart disease, and even weight gain.
Sleep makes you feel better, but its importance goes way beyond just boosting your mood or banishing the circles around your eyes. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and much more.
Sleep does much more than reduce your irritability. It can decrease anxiety and give you emotional stability.
You cannot skip sleep during the week and catch up on the weekends. If you are sleeping a lot at the weekend then it means you are not getting enough sleep during the week.
Sleeping consolidates what you have been learning that day. While you sleep your mind strengthens memories of the skills you have been learning. Sleep improves you memory.
Studies have shown that those who sleep better live longer.
Inflammation is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging. Research indicates that people who get less sleep – six or fewer hours a night – have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get more.
Sleep helps you to lose weight, avoid accidents, sharpens your attention and gives you energy.
This one step can improve your life right now, this week.
‘I will give you rest.’
(Coming up next… What if we are not sleeping well?)