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10 Reasons Sleep is The Most Important Part of Your Life

10 Reasons Sleep is The Most Important Part of Your Life

Although sleep is absolutely necessary, many people have a love-hate relationship with it. In fact, it isn’t uncommon to hear entrepreneurs and other go-getters decry sleep by saying, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” That viewpoint may help them launch a new business a few days sooner, but it’s definitely not doing them any other favors. There are numerous scientifically proven reasons that you need to get a good night’s sleep, and ignoring this need can lead to serious consequences.

1. Sleeping Helps Prevent Diabetes and Heart Disease

Everyone has problems falling asleep from time to time, but if you are chronically suffering from a lack of sleep, your odds of developing heart disease or type 2 diabetes will significantly increase. With this in mind, individuals who have insomnia, sleep apnea or another complication that makes it difficult to have a restful night should consider talking to their doctor about getting a sleep aid. It is also important to note that regular exercise and following a set bedtime and wake-up routine will help.

2. Sleep Makes You Feel Good

We all know the glorious feeling of waking up after a good night’s sleep. Our minds feel sharper, our bodies have fewer aches, and we’re more physically and emotionally equipped to take on the rest of the day. Unfortunately, getting to this happy stage is very difficult for some people. If you struggle with falling or staying asleep, it is wise to follow some scientifically proven methods for fixing the problem.

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For example, a post on the science of sleeping suggests cooling your face, dropping the temperature in your bedroom to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and taking the rather unorthodox seeming approach of trying to force yourself to stay awake while lying in bed. Apparently, those who stare at the ceiling instead of having their eyes closed typically fall asleep more quickly.

3. Sleeping Helps with Weight Management

Have you ever noticed that you feel hungrier when you are sleep deprived? Researchers from Hendrix College studied this phenomenon with college students. They conclusively proved that a lack of sleep leads to an increased daily consumption of approximately 300 calories. This happens because the brain needs sleep to perform its best. When it doesn’t get enough, it burns through glucose, carbs, and other human fuels more quickly than usual in an attempt to keep you alert and fully functional. If you want to lose weight, eight hours of sleep should be part of your nightly routine.

4. Naps Boost Productivity

Studies by NASA and Dr. Sara C. Mednick have found that naps serve another vital function in our overall sleep needs. In fact, if you take a nap of at least 26 minutes between 1 and 4 p.m., you’ll experience a productivity boost of up to 34 percent. When you consider the impact that productivity levels can have on everything from your job performance to completing personal tasks, it becomes easy to see why everyone should be given a nap break during the day.

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You may not be able to get your employer to sanction this idea, but consider using part of your lunch break to help you catch a few extra ZZZs.

5. Sleeping Helps Your Immune System

Your immune system is constantly at work attempting to protect you from a long list of potential illnesses. You can help it have a high rate of success by getting at least seven hours of sleep per night. Sadly, those who are unable to do this will suffer from an impaired immune system that leaves them more prone to catching a cold or the flu.

One study even found that sleep deprivation following a vaccination could reduce the effects of the vaccine by as much as 50 percent. Therefore, it is critical to ensure that you get enough sleep if you wish to remain as healthy as possible.

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6. Sleep Provides A Cognitive Boost

If you have a big test or presentation tomorrow, the absolute best thing you can do for yourself is to get a good night’s sleep. This is because researchers have determined that there is a strong link between sleep and cognitive performance. When you don’t get enough sleep, your brain will experience reduced blood flow. As a result, your cognitive speed, attention to detail, memory retention and recall, decision-making skills, and emotional intelligence will all begin to plummet.

Even if you sleep a solid eight hours tonight, these issues will begin to show up approximately 16 hours after you wake up. This helps highlight just how bad of an idea it is to pull an all-nighter.

7. Sleep Helps You Age More Gracefully

Everyone has probably had the experience of looking at themselves in the mirror the morning after a poor night’s sleep. You may have been shocked to see that you looked rougher than usual, and this is not a coincidence. When you sleep, your body releases certain hormones that are essential for skin health and overall well-being. Failure to get enough sleep disrupts this release and could remove it altogether. In children, this can even lead to stunted growth. Therefore, if you want to look your best, sleep is one of the easiest ways to achieve this goal.

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8. Sleep Provides A Mood Boost

Perhaps one of sleep’s most essential functions is to help people maintain a stable mood. Those who have chronic insomnia often suffer from higher levels of depression, anxiety, and stress. Even just one night without the proper amount of sleep can have a negative impact on your mood and ability to deal with stressful situations. This highlights yet again why sleeping is a better usage of your time than late-night cramming before a test or any other big event.

9. Sleep Deprivation Increases Cravings

Aside from simply making you hungrier, sleep deprivation also causes an increased craving for food that is high in sugar and carbs. This explains why people who have a rough night without a lot of sleep find themselves reaching for candy that they might otherwise skip. Again, this usually leads to an increase in calories, and it’s another symptom of poor sleep that can eventually cause type 2 diabetes.

10. Sleep is Essential for Libido

If your libido has been waning lately, it is good idea to take a closer look at how much sleep you’re getting. This is because testosterone becomes reduced after a lack of sleep, which makes women feel less interested in any type of sexual activity. Shockingly, every lost hour of sleep causes a 14 percent drop in libido. Therefore, whether trying to get pregnant has become an unpleasant chore or you simply feel less interested in sex than you used to, you may be able to boost your libido significantly by adding one more hour of sleep to your nightly routine.

As you can see, sleep really is one of the most important parts of your life. If you’re having difficulty falling asleep, you may want to try one of the simple hacks that make it possible to fall asleep within 30 seconds. Your body will thank you for it!

Featured photo credit: Yesilist via yesilist.com

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Holly Chavez

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

Why Is Goal Setting Important to a Truly Fulfilling Life?

Why Is Goal Setting Important to a Truly Fulfilling Life?

In Personal Development-speak, we are always talking about goals, outcomes, success, desires and dreams. In other words, all the stuff we want to do, achieve and create in our world.

And while it’s important for us to know what we want to achieve (our goal), it’s also important for us to understand why we want to achieve it; the reason behind the goal or some would say, our real goal.

Why is goal setting important?

1. Your needs and desire will be fulfilled.

Sometimes when we explore our “why”, (why we want to achieve a certain thing) we realize that our “what” (our goal) might not actually deliver us the thing (feeling, emotion, internal state) we’re really seeking.

For example, the person who has a goal to lose weight in the belief that weight loss will bring them happiness, security, fulfillment, attention, popularity and the partner of their dreams. In this instance, their “what” is weight-loss and their “why” is happiness (etc.) and a partner.

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Six months later, they have lost the weight (achieved their goal) but as is often the case, they’re not happier, not more secure, not more confident, not more fulfilled and in keeping with their miserable state, they have failed to attract their dream partner.

After all, who wants to be with someone who’s miserable? They achieved their practical goal but still failed to have their needs met.

So they set a goal to lose another ten pounds. And then another. And maybe just ten more. With the destructive and erroneous belief that if they can get thin enough, they’ll find their own personal nirvana. And we all know how that story ends.

2. You’ll find out what truly motivates you

The important thing in the process of constructing our best life is not necessarily what goals we set (what we think we want) but what motivates us towards those goals (what we really want).

The sooner we begin to explore, identify and understand what motivates us towards certain achievements, acquisitions or outcomes (that is, we begin moving towards greater consciousness and self awareness), the sooner we will make better decisions for our life, set more intelligent (and dare I say, enlightened) goals and experience more fulfilment and less frustration.

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We all know people who have achieved what they set out to, only to end up in the same place or worse (emotionally, psychologically, sociologically) because what they were chasing wasn’t really what they were needing.

What we think we want will rarely provide us with what we actually need.

3. Your state of mind will be a lot healthier

We all set specific goals to achieve/acquire certain things (a job, a car, a partner, a better body, a bank balance, a title, a victory) because at some level, most of us believe (consciously or not) that the achievement of those goals will bring us what we really seek; joy, fulfilment, happiness, safety, peace, recognition, love, acceptance, respect, connection.

Of course, setting practical, material and financial goals is an intelligent thing to do considering the world we live in and how that world works.

But setting goals with an expectation that the achievement of certain things in our external, physical world will automatically create an internal state of peace, contentment, joy and total happiness is an unhealthy and unrealistic mindset to inhabit.

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What you truly want and need

Sometimes we need to look beyond the obvious (superficial) goals to discover and secure what we really want.

Sadly, we live in a collective mindset which teaches that the prettiest and the wealthiest are the most successful.

Some self-help frauds even teach this message. If you’re rich or pretty, you’re happy. If you’re both, you’re very happy. Pretty isn’t what we really want; it’s what we believe pretty will bring us. Same goes with money.

When we cut through the hype, the jargon and the self-help mumbo jumbo, we all have the same basic goals, desires and needs:

Joy, fulfilment, happiness, safety, peace, recognition, love, acceptance, respect, connection.

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Nobody needs a mansion or a sport’s car but we all need love.

Nobody needs massive pecs, six percent body-fat, a face lift or bigger breasts but we all need connection, acceptance and understanding.

Nobody needs to be famous but we all need peace, calm, balance and happiness.

The problem is, we live in a culture which teaches that one equals the other. If only we lived in a culture which taught that real success is far more about what’s happening in our internal environment, than our external one.

It’s a commonly-held belief that we’re all very different and we all have different goals — whether short term or long term goals. But in many ways we’re not, and we don’t; we all want essentially the same things.

Now all you have to do is see past the fraud and deception and find the right path.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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