If you’re skimping on your sleep, I’m here to tell you a few reasons rest is important, other than the standard advice your doctor gives you. Many people don’t even realize what body processes go on while you’re asleep. The issue of getting enough sleep has unfortunately become so mundane that we’re tuning it out more than ever. Even I get tired of hearing that rest is important, but I still choose to get enough slumber time under my pillow. Read my favorite reasons rest is important, which may include some facts you didn’t even know about. Then, if you’re not ready to turn in a little early, I can at least say I tried!
1. It Regulates Your Appetite
Many of you probably already know one of the main reasons rest is important is that it evens out your appetite. When our appetites go awry, it can be due to fluctuating hormones known as ghrelin and leptin in the body, that tell us when we’re full or if we’re actually hungry. These hormones don’t work as well when we’re short on sleep. Even if you get a full night’s rest, but have been under a good bit of stress and are low in energy, consider taking a nap instead of a trip through the drive-thru for a milkshake and fries to give you a boost. Sometimes, we’re actually tired, not hungry, and our bodies are telling us we need to rest. Learn to get at least 8 hours of sleep, preferably 9 if you need it, and you’ll probably notice that your appetite is more regular the next day. You should still eat regular meals, but you’ll be less inclined to eat unhealthy foods if your hormones are leveled out and not seeking energy from junk food.
2. It Helps You Age Better
Sleeping produces the hormone known as DHEA, which fights aging in the body. Many people are popping this supplement nowadays, but I prefer letting my body make plenty of it on its own, which it does while you’re in that deep state of sleep known as REM sleep. DHEA fights stress, and even wrinkles in the body, along with age-related weight gain. Getting enough sleep is the best way to train your body to produce more of this hormone the natural way. It will keep you beautiful and aging gracefully for years!
3. It Makes You Happier
Sleeping enough on a regular basis has been shown to fight depression, anxiety and stress dramatically. You’ll notice that things don’t bother you as much after you’ve had plenty of sleep, for the most part, and that you deal with daily stresses better overall. Avoid taking in too much caffeine, which can give you energy, but then cause your mood and blood sugar to plummet later by effecting your insulin levels and neurotransmitters in the brain. Excess caffeine can also keep you up at night, creating a vicious cycle of sleep debt and the need for caffeine. One or two cups of caffeine in the morning through coffee or tea is fine, but please put down those energy drinks! They’re terrible for you and your sleep!
4. It Helps You Find Your Happy Weight
Since getting enough rest balances out your entire body, it also helps balance out your weight. If you’re skimping on sleep, you may become underweight or overweight due to hormonal fluctuations, high levels of stress, or by it causing disruptions in your appetite. Getting enough rest is the best way to help your body find its happy weight, which is the weight it stays at when you eat healthy, get enough rest, exercise normally, and don’t diet. It will stay this weight for a longer period of time if it is your “happy” weight too, which lets you know you’re doing everything right!
5. It Keeps Your Hormones Balanced
As you know, sleep affects your hormones, so if you suffer from constant swings in your hormones, make sure you are getting enough sleep, but not too much like 10 or 11 hours a day. Both sleeping too little and too much can negatively affect your hormones, so be sure to get that healthy balance. This is especially true during that time of the month or when you’re going through menopause. If you can’t sleep, consider over the counter supplements like Calms Forte, melatonin or magnesium oxide to help put you to sleep naturally.
6. It Fights Inflammation
Inflammation can be greatly reduced by sleeping enough. When we exercise, are very active, are under too much stress, or eat inflammatory foods, we will suffer varying degrees of joint inflammation and internal inflammation. Be sure to get enough rest, which will help the body recover quickly and efficiently. You should eat a healthy diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, lean protein and lots of veggies to prevent inflammation as well. These foods also aid in muscle recovery and reduce stress in the body and mind. Be sure you’re not overexercising and make certain you get enough rest to allow your body to repair itself throughout the night.
7. It Feels Great
Last but not least, sleeping just makes you feel great! Everyone who sleeps well usually wakes up feeling like a brand new person. In my mom’s words, “If you’ve had a terrible day, just go home and go to bed. Everything is always better in the morning.” That being said from a very wise woman, if you’re in doubt of the other reasons to get enough rest, remember that sleep makes you feel great, so be sure to get plenty of it!
To get the best sleep possible, sleep in a somewhat cool atmosphere, in comfortable and cool clothing, and also be sure to avoid caffeinated beverages or spicy foods at night that can keep you up. Don’t eat too soon before bed unless the meal or snack is easy to digest, or you may find it uncomfortable to go to sleep. What’s your favorite reason that rest is so important?