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The Importance of Good Sleep Habits

Posted Nov 17 2009 10:00pm
I have a great guest article today. As a Clinical Therapist I agree with Amy Cook, who has written the following article about sleep for this site. Be sure to check out her site.

Sleep is important. Thanks, Amy!

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How Healthy Sleep Habits Help You Manage Stress Many of us take good health for granted, and we often don’t realize its value until we’ve lost it. Not for nothing has it been said that health is wealth and that we must do all we can to ensure that we stay healthy for as long as we live. In order to do that, we need to eat healthy food, exercise regularly, and avoid things that are bad for us like cigarettes, drugs, alcohol and stress. Now while most aspects of good health are within our control, stress is something that is not. We are prone to be affected by it no matter how many relaxation methods we adopt and however hard we try to unwind. Work, relationships, situations – they all contribute to our stress level, and the more we stress, the more we lose our health. One way to combat stress is to follow healthy sleeping habits. When we sleep, our body rejuvenates itself and prepares for a new day; we are in effect recharging the cells that were worn out the previous day. And when we don’t get enough sleep or if our sleep is disturbed, we tend to wake up cranky the following morning and progressively get worse as the day goes on. The average human being needs at least 7 hours of sleep every night. So when you deprive your body of this, you build up a sleep deficit which in turn affects a host of factors – you are unable to think clearly, you lose your edge in crucial situations, your reaction time and vision are impaired and cause you to make serious errors when driving or doing other activities that require your full concentration, your performance suffers, you cannot recall facts, and you are very impatient and cranky all the time. So you can see how your stress level is bound to go up when you haven’t had enough sleep. To bring down your stress and negate any chance of the ailments that are associated with it, you need to: ·        Sleep at relatively the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning so that your body is used to your sleep pattern. ·        Try taking a power nap during the day – all you need is 15 minutes of shut eye to rejuvenate your body and prevent fatigue (a major contributor to stress) from affecting your concentration and performance during the later part of the day. ·        Avoid drinking caffeine after 5 pm – it could impair your ability to fall asleep at night. ·        Try to get a sound sleep at night. If your sleep is disturbed, relax first before hitting the bed. You could listen to soft music, read a light book, drink a warm glass of milk, or take a hot bath to get your body to ease up and prepare for sleep. ·        While you may enjoy your lie-ins on holidays and the weekend, don’t sleep for too long as your body becomes confused and finds it hard to wake up on Mondays which leaves you cranky and stressed at work. ·        Practice meditation to help calm and relax your mind so that you don’t find your sleep disturbed and end up tossing and turning throughout the night.  By-line: This guest article was written by Amy S. Cook, who regularly writes on the topic of lvn to rn . She welcomes your comments and questions at her email address: amy.cook@rediffmail.com

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