A 2008 study by the Centers for Diseases Control found that between 50 and 70 million Americans experience regular sleep deprivation. Constant sleep loss impacts our lives in many ways, from affecting our short-term memory and motor skills to developing cancer and other diseases in the long-term. Here are ten reasons to get more sleep, and all of them contribute to better overall physical and emotional health. For a happier and more productive life, fine tune your sleep schedule.
Researchers for a study conducted by Kingston University in Ontario, Canada interviewed 17,000 students across the world about their sleep habits, and 63% of them said they got between seven and eight hours of sleep a night.
Losing even an hour or two of sleep a night impairs your physical and mental ability you may feel-and act-as though you haven't slept at all. Lack of sleep may cause you to doze off for a few minutes at work during the day, affecting your job performance. When you regularly lose sleep, the hours missed are referred to as sleep debt. If you sleep five hours instead of seven hours twice a week, your sleep debt is four hours per week. Sleep debt adds up, and may impact your health by making you more susceptible to heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and other long-term health problems.
The reasons to get more sleep aren't limited to physical health. Sleep helps maintain your mental and emotional health, and enables you to focus better on business projects, academics and daily errands.
If you have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep, it may be due to stress, improper sleeping environment (too much noise or light, uncomfortable mattress) or a physical condition such as sleep apnea (shallow breathing or pauses in breathing while you sleep). Consult your doctor if you have trouble sleeping.
People who get less than six hours sleep on a consistent basis run the risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and other chronic health conditions.
If you suffer from chronic back pain, arthritis or are recovering from a recent injury, getting sufficient sleep may reduce the amount and intensity of pain. Sleep rejuvenates the body and helps it fight pain better. Unfortunately, ongoing pain may make it hard to get enough sleep, so use a natural sleep supplement (such as melatonin) to fall asleep faster.
The immune system needs enough sleep each night to defend your body against damaging substances. If you suffer from chronic insomnia, you may be more prone to colds and infections. Staying robust and sniffle free is one of the best reasons to get more sleep.
Perking up a dreary sex life is certainly one of the most important reasons to get more sleep. According to a 2008 poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, 26% of people surveyed said lack of sleep interferes with their sex life. Poor sleep leaves you exhausted and disinterested in sex, among other things. Studies indicate that workaholic men who don't get much sleep have lower testosterone levels. This reduces sex drive and the ability to reproduce. Lack of sleep also increases the chances of developing Type 2 diabetes or heart disease. Men and women report lower libido due to stress, medication side-effects, depression or excessive alcohol use. Revive your sex life by getting at least seven hours of sleep a night.
If you're too tired to exercise or go grocery shopping, you'll probably order a pizza and sit in front of the TV all night, increasing your chance of weight gain. The hormone leptin, which regulates energy balance and appetite, drops when you don't get enough sleep. This decrease and the accompanying grogginess, makes you hungry for high-calorie foods. Eating processed or fatty foods when you're tired may give you a temporary rush, but they are harder to digest. This causes you to get even sleepier. If you need to snack when you're tired, choose whole grain crackers and raisins, apples or other fruits. Avoid coffee and drink plenty of water, green or white tea, or juice.
Getting more shuteye will lower your calorie count without much work on your part, according to a recent study. Students participating in research on sleep and diet reported consuming 300 less calories when they altered their routine to sleep two extra hours a night. Better weight loss is among the top reasons to get more sleep. Think of a good night's sleep as part of your weight loss plan, just like going to the gym or counting calories.
Healthy living and beauty are closely related. Good genes and cosmetics can only do so much to keep you looking good if you overeat, smoke, drink alcohol to excess and don't get enough sleep.
A Swedish study cited in the Journal of Sleep identified facial symptoms of insomnia, including dark under-eye circles, red and swollen eyes, droopy mouth corners and more wrinkles/fine lines on the skin.3 Just one night of poor sleep can cause skin to become sallow and dull or trigger acne in people with oily skin. Dark circles under your eyes and puffiness are a result of blood vessels not draining properly. Ongoing lack of sleep contributes to premature aging, weakening skin's resistance to pollution and other environmental stressors. This destroys collagen, giving your skin a looser, more wrinkled appearance.
Experts agree there is an important relationship between sleep and psychological well-being. Inadequate sleep often causes people to become irritable and short-tempered. Repeated bouts of insomnia may lead to permanent mood disorders including depression anxiety, and panic disorder. If you believe lack of sleep is altering your mood in a negative way, talk to your doctor or a therapist to get to the root of the problem.
Sleep deprivation also inhibits your social life. A study conducted by the University of California at Berkeley showed that sleep deprivation interfered with participants' ability to read anger, happiness and other facial expressions. Not getting enough sleep may cause you to misread social cues, causing confusion or making others avoid interaction with you. (Studies have shown people avoid socializing with individuals who show signs of sleep deprivation.) Maintaining a good social life is another one of the reasons to get more sleep.
Eating a healthy diet enables you to sleep better and feel better. Include turkey, fish, bananas and other foods rich in Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine ) to help you get some quality zzzzz's. Vitamin B6 turns tryptophan into the hormone serotonin, which helps regulate your sleep cycle. You can get enough Vitamin B6 in your diet by eating two to three servings of poultry, lentils, meat, nuts or soy. Vitamin B3 (niacin) extends your REM (rapid eye movement) cycle while you sleep, limiting the times you wake up – it prevents the on-again, off-again sleep that is almost as bad as not getting any sleep at all. You can find niacin in peanuts, tuna, salmon, brown rice and beef. Kale, yogurt, tart cherry juice and fortified cereals are other vitamin-rich foods that help you get to sleep fast. Eat foods rich in magnesium (“the world's best mineral for relaxation”), calcium, Vitamin D and potassium to guard against insomnia.
If you don't get enough magnesium in your diet (most Americans don't), or just want more insurance against lack of sleep and the problems it causes, consider a wheatgrass supplement. Wheatgrass contains chlorophyll, a magnesium-rich nutrient that increases heart health, bone density and offers protection against cancer and diabetes. And that's just a preview of the positive health benefits in wheatgrass. It has all the B-complex vitamins (including B6 and B3), Vitamins C, E and A, potassium, calcium, fiber, choline, iron and hundreds of enzymes you won't find in other foods.
Stress reduction is one of the most popular reasons to get more sleep. If you suffer from stress on the job or at home, it may be causing insomnia or interrupting your sleep. If you can't eliminate the root of the stress, look at ways to combat it. Meditate; get regular exercise so you'll feel sleepier at bedtime even if you're stressed, and keep your bedroom as dark and quiet as possible.
Gradually increase your sleep time by fifteen minutes a night, instead of going from five hours of sleep to eight in one night. This helps your body adjust and eliminates the restless time spent waking up in the middle of the night trying to get back to sleep. Avoid going to bed right after using the computer or other electronics. Prepare for bed (at the same time each night) by meditating, taking a warm bath or putting on relaxing music. Use blackout shades or window blinds to keep your room dark. Finally, only use the bedroom for sleep and sex. Don't work, exercise, eat or socialize in the bedroom.
Chronic loss of sleep impairs your memory, making it harder for you to complete daily tasks. Insomnia may also contribute to Alzheimer's by robbing the body of the critical detoxifying process that takes place during restful sleep. Studies indicate people perform better on tests after a night of sleep or a short nap.
Sleep sharpens your memory by allowing the hippocampus and neocortex, the parts of the brain devoted to long-term memory, to replay the day's activities, storing them for later recall. Getting enough sleep helps you retain memories longer so you can recall them years later.
Sleep loss clouds your thinking. If you've ever taken an exam after staying up all night, you know the feeling. Poor sleep impairs your cognition, causing you to make silly mistakes (putting your purse in the bread box) or serious and even deadly mistakes like falling asleep at the wheel.
Sleep prepares your brain for the next day, allowing it to work at maximum capacity. If you're well-rested, you'll be better able to solve problems and learn new skills. Proper sleep helps you be more creative and observant. To get the most out of your brain power, get seven to nine hours of sleep a night and definitely no less than six hours.
Graveyard shift workers often suffer from sleep loss. Staying up all night and sleeping during the day may not alter your body clock if it happens occasionally, but the night shift can damage your circadian rhythm and even increase your chance of heart disease, depression or anxiety. There's even a sleep disorder – Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD) named for night workers. Due to light exposure at night reducing melatonin, shift workers have an increased risk of developing colon or breast cancer. Some experts suggest melatonin curbs tumor growth.
Some people are naturally night owls, so shift work won't bother them. Other individuals need two days to a week to adjust to shift work, and some bosses will accommodate this. Having a set sleep schedule and a dark, quiet place to sleep at home is essential for shift workers. This is easier for people who live in a house or alone in an apartment, but may be challenging for people who share a small space with roommates.
Taking a nap will recharge your batteries and help you get more accomplished when you return to work. A 26-minute nap will make you 34% more effective for the rest of the day, according to research at the University of California at San Diego. The National Sleep Foundation recommends a short nap of from 20-30 minutes to boost alertness and minimize mistakes. Sleepy drivers put themselves and everyone around them in danger, but often continue driving though they can barely keep their eyes open. If you feel sleepy while driving, pull off to a safe area to rest and take a 20-minute nap. Safety on the road and the job is one of the most overlooked reasons to get more sleep.
The reasons to get more sleep should certainly convince you to increase the number of hours spent in slumber. If you have a demanding schedule, or travel a lot, it may not be easy to accomplish this, but it will be worth it for your health and productivity. Keeping your body strong through diet, vitamins and supplements will help you to sleep better.
Wheatgrass Love's supplement tablets – Zeal O2, REVV and Happy Girl all contain high-quality, chlorophyll-rich wheatgrass to give you focus and energy during the day and help you sleep better at night. Chlorophyll's high magnesium content helps to relieve anxiety and lets you fall asleep faster.
Zeal O2 Natural Weight Loss Supplement is tailored to meet the needs of people on a diet-or those wishing to control their weight after reaching their goal. Zeal O2 has a proprietary blend of cayenne pepper, ginseng, ginkgo biloba and other herbs to keep you healthy before, during and after a diet – and its wheatgrass and herb blend will contribute to a restful night's sleep. Read more about Zeal O2.
REVV Natural Energy Supplement gives you a needed boost during the day without headaches or side effects you get from some energy drinks. The wheatgrass in REVV gives you natural pep while caffeine and periwinkle herb enable you to focus better on the day's activities. And all the vitamins and minerals in wheatgrass will enable your body to unwind better at night and get restful sleep. Read more about chocolate mint REVV wafers.
Happy Girl Natural Mood Enhancing Supplement helps you tackle the stress and anxiety you face daily by supplying you with B-complex vitamins, magnesium, calcium and other nutrients to relax you without side effects. Happy Girl is indicated for men and women who experience stress and mild or moderate depression occasionally. It contains ginkgo biloba, green tea extract, white willow, ginger and other herbs to balance your mood and help you reap benefits from the top reasons to get more sleep. Read more about Happy Girl.
Want to find out more about wheatgrass and Wheatgrass Love products? Call us at 877-303-1717. We'll be happy to answer any questions you may have. Always talk to your doctor before taking any dietary supplement.
Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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