Sleep Your Way to a Healthy Lifestyle

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Sleep Your Way to a Healthy Lifestyle

‘And if tonight my soul may find her peace in sleep, and sink in good oblivion, and in the morning wake like a new-opened flower then I have been dipped again in God, and new-created’ ~ D.H. Lawrence

Do you get enough sleep, which is vital if you want to live a healthy lifestyle?

To determine whether you are getting enough sleep, ask yourself:

  • Am I often tired?
  • Am I using caffeine to get through the day?
  • Do I sleep well?
  • Do I wake up feeling refreshed?
  • Do I get drowsy while driving or watching TV?

There is a distinction between people who jump out of bed early every morning and fling themselves straight into their challenging schedule and those who have to haul themselves slowly into consciousness, who lie there for ages before struggling to the kitchen to make themselves their first caffeine kick of the day.

Sleep just seems such a waste of time. If you didn’t have to spend time sleeping, you could be spending all that time answering e-mails, writing blogs, doing marketing to attract traffic, chatting in facebook, and all those things that are important to you.

Your body needs adequate sleep to repair and recharge itself. Experts recommend an average of about 8 hours sleep a night. Too little sleep can affect your mood, your work, and how you feel.

A lack of sleep has been linked to various problems, including:

  • greater risk of depression and anxiety
  • increased risk of heart disease and cancer
  • impaired memory
  • reduced immune system functioning
  • weight gain
  • greater likelihood of accidents

To get yourself the best night’s sleep, it is important to establish a wind-down hour to make the transition from your active day and evening activities to your sleep time. By taking an hour to just chill out and relax before going to sleep, you will find that your sleep is far more restful, and calming. This one hour will get you into the necessary state, ensuring that both your mind and body are rested and relaxed after the events of the day. During this one hour, don’t do anything associated with work or finances. My top tip, is to use progressive muscular relaxation, which you can learn from my previous blog here.

Feeling tired or run down is a symptom of stress that comes from not getting enough sleep. The more sleep you get the better your ability to fight stress. By getting an adequate amount of sleeping time, you will be giving yourself great support in maintaining your health and the energy and strength of mind to cope with your problems. I’m sure you have noticed those times when you have had a bad night’s sleep, and didn’t enjoy sufficient hours in the land of nod, where the next day you have been tense, and far more irritable than usual.

Natural preparation for a good night’s sleep is preferable to medication, so here are a few simple suggestions:

  • At least 30 minutes relaxation period before bedtime
  • Ensure your bedroom is not too warm and has good air circulation
  • Try to finish stressful activities long before bedtime so they do not engage your mind too much
  • Always make sure you empty your bladder before going to bed and do not drink a very large amount of any beverage too close to bedtime, which will cause you to wake to empty your bladder, thus disturbing your rest
  • Reading can help to tire your eyes thus aiding sleep
  • Preparation for the next day long before bedtime can help to reduce apprehension
  • Avoiding mental over-stimulation close to bedtime such as horror/action films etc. can be helpful.
  • Use the muscle relaxation or meditation technique, when ready to settle down for the night
  • Keep a window slightly open to allow fresh air to enter your bedroom

Sufficient sleep is essential to a healthy mind and body. Your life improves in every way when you wake feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead.

Life is something that happens when you can’t get to sleep. ~Fran Lebowitz

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About the author: Larry Lewis
My name is Larry Lewis, Health & Wellness Life Coach, Founder of Healthy Lifestyles Living, contributor to the Huffington Post, recently featured in the Sunday Mail Newspaper and somebody who went from being an owner of a chain of gyms and fitness fanatic, to a visually impaired overweight and incredibly sick person. Read about my illness to wellness story.
2 Comments
  1. Jorie Pacli April 7, 2011 at 2:34 am

    Wonderful tips! I’m guilty I haven’t been sleeping enough and one of the problems I face whenever I stay up so late till wee hours of early morning is the hunger-tendency…. I usually spoil myself with titbits and cold tea… So that’s really bad for me and I need to change my bad habits asap. Thanks Larry for such helpful post..;)

    • LarryLewis April 8, 2011 at 10:13 am

      Thank you Jorie. Once we recognise our bad habits it is far easier to change them. Cold tea now thats not a nice habit either, ugh

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