The importance of sleep

Lady standing by the open door in her nightgown

Have you gone a little overboard this Christmas? Been up until late into the night? Rushing around to get the final gifts and visiting all your friends and family and doing all the cooking and baking in the minutes in between? Do you feel a little run down after the holidays? Then maybe this little blog post from our friend Rachel can help:

 

Do you want to be slimmer, sexier, and smarter?  

If the answer is yes to some or all of the above, then what you need is sleep!

Can sleep really do all this?  Yes it can.  Sleep is a really underestimated resource and actually most of us aren’t getting enough.  People are literally beginning to wake up to the fact that surviving on very little sleep has a detrimental effect on health and does not carry the ‘badge of honour’ that it used to in the corporate world.  There is a shift from the “I’ll sleep when I die” brigade to the high profile pro-sleepers such as Arianne Huffington from Huffington Post now Thrive Global, Sheryl Sandburg from Facebook and Jeff Bezos from Amazon.

We’re living in a high tech world where we can access information 24/7 and we’ve fallen into a ‘grey zone’ where it’s difficult to switch off.  The line between our work and personal life has become blurred.  We can still work and stay connected when we get home, we can sit in bed and work from our tech late at night or the early hours of the morning and still be in contact with colleagues in other time zones – not recommended, but people do it!

We wonder why we are feeling tired all the time; why we find it difficult to concentrate at work and why our waistlines are beginning to expand out of control.  It may be because we’re not getting enough shut-eye.

There’s all sorts of things going on in your brain and body when you sleep, especially in deep sleep which is about twenty percent of your night’s sleep, this is when your brain detoxes and gets rid of waste and dead cells; free radicals (cells that cause damage – the bad guys) are cleaned up; and blood pressure, hormone levels and metabolism are all regulated to keep you happy and healthy.  In your REM sleep (your dream sleep), your memories are consolidated from short term storage to long term storage.

If your ‘brain waste’ isn’t getting sluiced out, this may be the reason why you’re suffering from brain fog or an inability to focus during the day.  If your hormones are all over the place, this may be the reason you feel stressed and tetchy all the time.  Also if the hormones that control appetite and send messages to your brain to indicate when you’re full are out of whack, this may be the reason why you’re finding it difficult to shift your weight.  And if you’re getting forgetful, it may mean you’re not getting enough REM sleep.

Sleep is weird, as we don’t know when we’ve drifted off into the Land of Nod until we wake up!

Here are three top tips to help you with your slumbers:

  1. Go to bed more or less at the same time every night
  2. Keep your bedroom dark, cool and airy.
  3. Un-weld yourself from your phone, tablet and laptop at least one hour before lights off.

See how you get on, these may be the things that make the difference for you between a good night’s sleep and a not so good one.  Sweet dreams…..

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This article was written by zesty Lady Rachel McGuinness. You can learn more about her here.

If you want to know more about how to make your sleep more productive, come and see Rachel speak during FIERCE Week. You can book your ticket here.

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