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Here’s Why You Should Never Skip Your Sleep On Weekends

Here’s Why You Should Never Skip Your Sleep On Weekends

After putting on a professional face for five days and 40 hours, many people use the weekend as a time to break free from routine and relax. Although you definitely deserve some downtime, relaxation for many people means late nights out, bar hopping, or even just indulging in movie marathons with friends and family that last far past midnight. You should look after your mental health, but getting enough sleep and following your normal sleep cycle are part of it.

Everyone is familiar with the short-term side effects of not getting enough sleep— temporary memory loss, impaired brain function, a bad mood you just can’t shake. After reading this article, you will never skip your sleep on weekends. Continue reading to understand why researchers say you should definitely get enough sleep on the weekends.

1. You’ll be happier

Sleep is important in regulating your mood, so you feel positive and don’t overreact. Studies show a lack of sleep affects serotonin levels in the brain, which helps keep you on an even keel. If you don’t get enough shut-eye, you may be more likely to lash out.

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2. You’ll learn and remember better

Although scientists are still unraveling the link between sleep and learning, hundreds of studies show sleep is important to encode memories for the long term, and one study even showed power napping for 45 to 60 minutes increased learning and retention fivefold.

3. Increase your attention

If you don’t get enough sleep, you’re so prone to driving accidents you might as well have drunk a bunch of alcohol. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that 100,000 crashes each year come from a lack of sleep.

4. Up your sex drive

Studies show men produce testosterone when they’re sleeping, which is important in sexual functioning, but getting about 5 hours of sleep each night for a week decreased testosterone levels by 15 percent. Sleep is important to regulate hormones in general, so getting less than you need will affect their levels.

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5. Reduce your risk for metabolic syndrome

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, poor sleep increases your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. This is definitely a reason to go to bed when you feel sleepy.

6. Amp up your energy

Stop relying on caffeine and use the most natural source of energy – sleep. If you get enough sleep and go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, you’ll be getting all the energy you need to function.

7. Look better

Ever heard someone say “you look tired”? When you don’t get enough sleep, it shows. A study in the journal Sleep showed people who didn’t get enough had redder, baggier eyes, more fine lines and wrinkles, were paler, and just looked, well, tired.

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How you sleep on weekends is just as important – getting 8 hours of sleep if you go to bed at 4:00 AM won’t give you the same benefits as going to bed at 10:00 PM.

8. You’re more likely to indulge when you go to bed late

The Daily Mail reported that people who go to bed after 11 PM are more likely to eat unhealthy snacks and drink alcohol, which translates to an increase in over 200 calories compared to those who go to bed before 11 PM.

9. If you eat late, sleep late, and wake up late, you may gain more weight

In one study, those who ate after 8 PM, went to bed around 3:45 AM, and woke up around 10:45 AM had higher BMIs, the National Sleep Foundation warns.

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You also can’t sleep in to “catch-up” on sleep. If you didn’t get enough sleep during the week, sleeping in might be more harmful than helpful. Studies show the best way to make up for lost sleep is just to follow your sleep schedule and circadian rhythm.

So, give your body what it needs this weekend — a much-needed rest.

Featured photo credit: nomao saeki via unsplash.com

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Evlin Symon

Evlin Symon is a health and wellness expert specialized in fitness, weight loss, pregnancy, nutrition and beauty.

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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