The Importance of Sleep For Your Health
In today’s fast paced world we’re constantly on the go. We work long hours and even bring extra work home to catch up on at night and on the weekend. We work hard at parenting, keeping up the house and yard, and maintaining a social life. We are busier than ever, yet we are all still limited to twenty-four hours per day. Something has to give and more often than not it has been rest and relaxation. So, today let’s chat about sleep.
Sleep is essential for our survival. We can’t survive very long without it. If you’ve had a newborn in the house or been in any other situation where you didn’t get much sleep for days and weeks on end, you know how bad the effects of sleep deprivation can be. Severe lack of sleep will be noticeable very quickly.
You can pull one all-nighter, but go for a couple of days on little-to-no sleep and you’ll start to feel like you’re going insane. Cutting back on sleep just a little here and there is trickier. That’s why we’ve gotten away for so long with six to seven hours of sleep and little time for rest and relaxation outside of those hours. We’ve been burning the candle at both ends and it doesn’t really work to our advantage.
You need to make rest, relaxation, and adequate sleep a priority to stay healthy and productive. Although you may feel like you get more done when you get up a little earlier or go to bed a little later, you’re most likely increasing productivity.
But, by making rest and relaxation a priority and giving both your body and mind time to recharge, you can get just as much done in a shorter amount of time. That’s part of what I want to show you and prove to you during this month long exploration on the topic of relaxing and reducing stress.
I truly believe that sometimes it feels like society has forgotten how to rest and relax. We’re running wide open all day long and while it can feel exhilarating and productive, it wears you down and takes a toll on your health and well-being. Plus relaxing can be a lot of fun when you take the time to rediscover the joy of it.
Quick Stress Buster: Take A Nap
Throughout this month, I’m going to share some of my favorite quick stress busters with you (and more of them if you are signed up for the challenge emails). These are quick and easy strategies and ideas you can put to work right away to relax more and stress less. While not all of them will become your go-to favorites, I’m going to encourage you to give them each a try as I share them. Keep the ones that work well for you and well if the other don’t serve you, feel free to drop them at the curb. But, having multiple coping mechanisms in place when life throws you a curve ball (or a kiddo or two) can’t hurt.
During times when you don’t get enough sleep, or are sick, or just plain feel worn down, one of the best things you can do to stay healthy and productive is to take a nap. Yes, you heard me right. I’m telling you to go take a nap.
Trust me, naps aren’t just for toddlers. They work just as well on a cranky, overworked, and stressed-out mamas. You may tell yourself that don’t have time for a nap, don’t need one, or can’t sleep during the day. None of that is true. ( I am calling you on your BS).
Research shows that it can be extremely beneficial to nap and actually help you get more done. It’s so powerful that some companies now encourage employees to nap at work. At the very least it’s worth a try.
You don’t even have to get to sleep to benefit from napping. Just lay down, get comfortable, close your eyes and doze for a bit. This rest instead of actual sleep will help too. If you do go to sleep, you don’t have to stay asleep for very long to benefit from a nap. Sleeping as little as two to five minutes is enough to refresh your brain. Hello power nap!
If you’re worried about waking up groggy, try a coffee nap. The idea is to drink a cup of coffee right before you lay down for a short nap. Since it takes the body a while to process the caffeine in your Cup of Joe, you’ll be able to take a short nap and wake up alert and ready to tackle the rest of your busy day.