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Snooze away, make sure you are trying to get enough sleep

A lot people take pride in the fact that they don’t require much sleep. If you are one of those people, I’m sorry to tell you that it’s something you shouldn’t be proud of and this needs to change. The importance of sleep goes way beyond just making you feel good and banishing dark circles.

A study says that lack of sleep is correlated to high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, issues with insulin sensitivity, increased body fat percentage and all those who have been sleep deprived at one point of time in their lives will know that “a sleep deprived body act as an intoxicated body.”

Enough shut eye time can have amazing benefits. Here are a few:

  • Sleep improves memory: A goodnight’s sleep can help improve your memory and your ability to learn. When we get enough sleep, our brains tend to commit information easily through a process called memory consolidation. Sleep also tends to enhance our creative problem solving skills. All this results in making you a smarter version of yourself.

  • Metabolism and weight gain: Poor sleep can make you fat. People who sleep for short durations tend to gain weight easily compared to those who get sufficient sleep. Children and adults who sleep for a shorter span are more likely to become obese. Sleep deprivation causes weight gain by altering the way our bodies process by storing carbohydrates and also affecting the functioning of hormones that affect our appetite.

  • Cardiovascular health and prevention of diseases: Sleep cuts your risk of high blood pressure, heart diseases and also other basic illnesses. Less sick days will help you become more productive and you’ll waste lesser time recovering from any form of illness.

  • Boosting athletic performance: Good sleep can help you enhance your athletic performance. Better athletic performance increases your ability to workout more efficiently. And we all know that appearance is an outcome of fitness.

  • Deal with depression: Poor sleep may lead to mood swings, irritability, impatience and also depression. It has been estimated that 90% of patients who suffer from depression complain about sleep quality. Also people who tend to have better sleep patterns are less likely to get depressed.

  • Release of HGH: Sleep promotes the release of human growth hormone which helps in muscle and cell regeneration and also plays a key role in development of bones in children.

How to sleep better and longer?

  • Avoid caffeine: Consumption of caffeine should be avoided after lunch if possible. Caffeine may be helpful in many ways and because of this we all love it. But its consumption should be limited to a certain time as its affect may last up to 6 hours.

  • Read: Instead of wasting your time watching TV shows or getting lost in the world of internet. One should turn off all electronics after a certain time. Instead of surfing through the internet you can spend your pre-sleep time being productive by reading a book. Most nights, reading will put you into sleep in a matter of minutes.

  • Slowly Shift your timings: Suddenly shifting your sleep timings by an hour will just end up getting you more stressed out. Instead of making sudden changes, shift your sleep timings by a few minutes everyday till you reach a fixed time that is comfortable for you. It is also important to go to sleep at that particular time everyday and getting up in the morning at a fixed time as well. This consistency in sleep patterns allows the body to rest properly. Just make sure that any changes you make are gradual.

  • Exercise: Regular exercise can help can help cure symptoms of insomnia and can also help get some good sound sleep at night. Vigorous exercises can help you achieve more powerful sleep benefits but light exercises can also improve sleep.

Sleep better and you’ll surely be more productive in the morning and through out your day. Once you get used to your new sleep pattern, you’ll even find yourself waking up before your alarm.

“Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.”-Thomas Dekker

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