On average, we spend about a third of our lives asleep! Thats an average of 25-26 years of sleep! Sleep leads to improved intellectual function, rest and recovery for the body, better moods, and increased energy levels. Sleep also has a strong association with wellbeing and happiness. That being said, not all sleep is created equal.
Did you know that women need more sleep than men? Since women tend to multitask more than men, we actually use our brains more than they do too! When we sleep, we cycle in and out of several sleep phases, and this process repeats itself 4-5 times a night. If you’re not getting the hours you need, chances are that you're not spending sufficient time in each sleep phase.
During the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) phases, your brain is working on long-term memory and increasing brain activity. This is the phase where dreams are most vivid and which aids in creativity on a chemical level. Deep Sleep helps strengthen the immune system, as well as promote growth and repair in muscles and tissues. When not in REM sleep, your pulse and blood pressure drops, allowing both your heart and blood vessels to relax. Every stage of sleep is vital to feeling refreshed and alert in the morning.
Here are 5 great ways to get the good night’s sleep you need and deserve…
1. Set and stick to a bedtime routine. Prepare your mind, body, and your space for sleep.
2. Put yourself on a bedtime schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same times each day will hugely benefit your sleep and your waking hours.
3. Avoid alcohol and any caffeinated drinks before bedtime. These will only make it harder to get to sleep.
4. Limit screen time at night and especially before bed. Put the phone away and steer clear from bright lights.
5. Practice mindfulness, mediation, prayer, or even deep breathing exercises. Showing yourself some love and appreciation can greatly improve feelings of wellbeing and happiness before bed.
Start tonight off with a renewed respect and admiration for sleep and the wonderful things it does for your body and mind, and allow yourself to drift off to sleep contented and calm.