By Samantha McKenzie
Are you sleepy? How about exhausted? Do you spend so much of your time “doing” that you’ve forgotten how to woo-sah? My hand is raised.
This is your friendly reminder that your body needs sleep. There’s no substitute for it. I listen daily to my friends run through their long list of tasks. Everyone a priority. The chores never seem to end. I swear the two loads of laundry sitting over there in the corner of my room right now are staring at me.
Lack of sleep has slowly crept to the top of the list of health concerns. Chronic sleep deprivation is said to cause short term damage to the body, and long term health problems that include depression, high blood pressure, diabetes (type 2), weight gain, stroke and heart disease.
Ironically, while we are keeping late hours, packing in our day with stuff to do and trying to get things done so we can live a better life, we are inadvertently hurting ourselves. Not getting enough sleep actually shortens the life span.
Sleep is our body’s time to recover, to heal itself, to replenish and prepare us for the next day.
A poor night’s sleep also contributes to fatigue, irritability and lack of focus. We are not at our best when we’re tired. I know this for a fact: I’m a certified grouch when I’m sleepy.
Good news is that it’s an easy fix. So to speak. Getting more sleep starts with creating a bedtime regimen. Yes, it’s that simple. Just go to bed earlier.
Set a new time to sleep. Turn off the lights and all of the distractions. How many hours of sleep you truly need depends on you. Most adults need at least six hours. Just pick a number that’s best for you and stick with it.
And there’s more. If health problems don’t frighten you, maybe a few positives will help you turn in early. A good night’s rest increases your sex drive, helps keep your skin smooth and supple, boosts your immune system and helps you stay slim.
So go ahead. Set your new sleep goals. Go to bed at the same time every night. Take longer naps on the weekends. Lay in the bed, turn your brain off, and just exhale.
Good night and sweet dreams.