Get Your Zzz’s: Celebrate National Sleep Month
We’ve all been there: eight hours become seven, six, five…eventually, after days of sleep depravation, neither concealer nor caffeine will do the trick. March is National Sleep Month—and should serve as an awakening to us all of the importance of solid shut-eye.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep needs are individual. The amount of sleep each person needs varies; there is no magic number. But research has shown that sleeping too little not only inhibits your productivity and ability to remember and consolidate information, but lack of sleep can also lead to serious health consequences. A study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that poor sleep can significantly disrupt and inhibit normal gene activity, which helps to regulate important biological functions including stress, inflammation, metabolism, circadian rhythms and the immune system.
In an average lifetime, most of us spend about 208,185 hours sleeping. That’s 8,674 days of snoozing! But it’s far from a waste of time. Sleep (or lack thereof) impacts both physical and mental health. According to a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers found that getting enough sleep helps your body to regulate hunger and lose weight. Not only will sleeping enough impact your work—it will impact your waistline.
So get those Zzz’s!
Here are some tips to help you get the best rest:
1. Don’t eat late. Eating too close to your bedtime might cause a restless night. Time your meals at least two to three hours before you go to bed so your body has time to digest.
2. Find calming activities. Whether it’s reading a book, stretching or listening to music, finding a way to slow down your mind before you snooze is crucial to maximizing REM.
3. Buy a sleep mask or blackout curtains. Even a small amount of light in your bedroom can throw off sleep patterns, so make sure you find a way to achieve total darkness.
4. Invest in the right equipment. Mattresses generally have a seven-year lifespan, and pillows have a one-year lifespan. Considering that you’ll spend 3,285 hours in your bed every year, it’s well worth it!
5. Stay consistent. Developing a routine should train your body for bedtime and help you fall asleep more regularly.
Do you have any tricks for falling asleep? How do you ensure you get your best zzz’s? We want to hear from you—Tweet us @OrganicSpaMag.
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