Sleep is essential, there isn't any getting away from it; so why do we spend more time choosing our favourite morning latte flavouring than managing our sleep patterns?
Over the years there have been many different theories why we sleep, some suggesting it's a waste of time while others search for the opposite, although there are some strong arguments and each offer valued points; without it for any length of time, it's undeniable that we aren't able to function.
Science proves that our brain continues to be active at night at which time the brain cells shrink allowing the brain fluid to move freely; it's during this period of sleep that the brain has the ability to flush out the waste. This is different during the awakened state as the brain is expanded, restricting the ability to fulfil this role - when sleep is restricted the ability to complete this task is limited and the behaviours of sleep deprivation come into effect.
I liken it to a rubbish bin; during the day it continually receives credits without any conscious thought, at the end of the day when the conscious workforce are due to leave, the cleaners return empting the rubbish allowing space for the following day. Now, if the bin is half full and isn't emptied, there is the possibility that the following day it will overflow and cease to function as it should.
Common Symptoms of lack of sleep: Poor memory, increased impulsiveness, lack of creativity, increase in weight, dependency on stimulants and stress.
It's hard to deny that sleep is fundamental, and it has the ability to clear the mind and allows conscious clarity. It's a time to process the data, analyse and remove those aspects we no longer need to save.
We know more about sleep than ever before yet the masses fail to adopt a sleep more attitude, believing that you will have more time to do this when you're dead. Here is the wakeup call; you are x 10 more likely to make a terrible decision without the correct amount of sleep.
By failing to identify the right amount for you can lead to any number of illnesses that negatively impact ALL aspects of your life and those around you.
It restores our ability to perform, while our body is still and our thoughts are off dreaming, our brain is actively working and preparing you for the following day. It fulfils out basic needs and effectively analyses problems and solutions.
What Can You Do About It?
Apart from sleeping more, you should be targeting at least 8 hours full sleep. If this means that you need to cancel that first business meeting or schedule your diary slightly differently then do so.
The brain uses our energy - energy is provided by the consumption of the nutrients, so the first logical step is to increase the quality of nutritionally rich food. Avoid a food that contains anything you are unable to pronounce.
Avoid any stimulants after 6pm. This includes anything that contains caffeine and nicotine. Opt for herbal teas for just a few weeks to see what positive effects this will have. Limit the amount of alcohol or even better remove it completely.
Introduce moderate to light exercise at least 3 times per week. This can include anything from a walk down the beach to a full spinning class at your gym. Exercise offers many mood enhancing chemicals that work alongside the reduction of the fake highs experienced using stimulants.
Meditate or utilise hypnosis. Listening to a relaxing audio programme as you go to sleep can help relax the mind and the body after a busy and stressful day. The more conscious choices you have over the control of your scheduled sleep patterns the more likely you are to keep to it.
Remove all negative viewing, although you may not consciously believe that this is having an effect, it is. What you experience during the last few hours before sleep alters your ability to kick-start your down time.
Reduce your light exposer at least 30 minutes before going to bed, our brain is activated and increases alertness as part of our built in body clock. The reduction of light instigates the reduction of daily light and starts this naturally occurring state.
Your brain is an active organ that requires time to dissolve all of the data that you provide it with during your awaken day. The brains solution to removing the waste in your life are during this period of sleep. By having a clear mind and enough sleep, you are making the conscious commitment that you are ready for the next day.
If you're not getting enough sleep, it could be the ideal time to do something about it, if you're failing at the most basic level - then take action today. Sleep deprivation doesn't mean you're working harder, it means that you're not working smarter.
A quality night's sleep is proven to strengthen our Neuro-Connections during this time out - take action today and take sleep seriously - your life depends on it.
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