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This is Why Your Body Loves Sleep

This is Why Your Body Loves Sleep

Sleep, as basic as it seems, is an incredibly fascinating necessity in our lives.

Every night, in some form or fashion, you go through the following stages of sleep:

  • light sleep: drifting in and out of sleep and can be easily awakened
  • ceasing of eye movement
  • deep sleep: no eye movement or muscle activity and waking up us difficult

Given the above, it is suggested that the average person should sleep an average of 7 hours per night. That mean we should a whopping 30% of our lives sleeping.

Sounds crazy right? Sleep for 30% of my life. Logically, one naturally thinks that’s 30% of my life spent being unproductive. A complete waste! But, stop. Is it really a waste?

As a long distance athlete who spends hours per week running and cross-training, I can tell you with certainty that my body derives maximum benefit when it is in “rest mode”.

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I can then conclude – with 100% certainty – that sleeping the recommended hours per night can never be ‘unproductive’. In fact, the body loves it! Below are reasons why the body loves sleep:

1. Provides fuel

Much like a vehicle needs fuel to keep driving, your body needs fuel to remain energetic. Imagine driving for days one end without re-fuelling? You’d go on empty. The car would start giving signs that you are low on fuel. Eventually you’d get stuck.

The body is no different. The body, if you had to go for a few days without sleep, would start signalling, through fatigue, that you are low on fuel. Eventually you’d pass out.

2. Boosts brain-to-body communication

You waking up, stretching and checking your phone first thing in the morning is a function of communication that happens between the brain and the body. Your entire day is process of continuous communication between your brain and the brain.

Why on earth would the body not be thankful for an enhanced brain that results in the body functioning better?

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3. Enhances skin beauty

In a study conducted by the British Association of Dermatologists, titled: “Does poor sleep quality affect skin ageing?”, it was concluded that that chronic poor sleep quality is associated with increased signs of intrinsic ageing, diminished skin barrier function and lower satisfaction with appearance. On “The Beauty Bean”, an article titled “How to Sleep Your Way to Beautiful Skin” highlights that:

“Sleep, though, is not only essential for maintaining heart health, improving concentration and reducing stress, but also vital for repairing sun damage, preventing acne and even maintaining a healthy glow!”

Beautiful skin to the body is like the “Home” or “About” page on any website or the marketing brochure to a company. Beautiful skin is often the outward expression of what is really happening on the inside. Give your body that beauty sleep!

4. Allows you to pamper it

More sleep means clear thinking and prudent decision making. Productivity and prudent decision making often means financial stability. Financial stability means you can afford to reward yourself in life, including pampering the body.

Be it manicures, pedicures or massages – the body loves being pampered and good sleeping habits contribute significantly.

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5. Reduces hangovers

The body hates hangovers. I know that’s a bit of a “duh” statement. But the point behind this rather obvious fact is that good sleeping habits and alcohol abuse are directly correlated. Where there’s a hangover, there’s booze. Where there’s booze, there’s often a hangover.

Fight that alcohol craving and hang-overs by hopping early into bed.

6. Reduces diseases

The body loves to stay healthy. A lack of sleep causes chronic medical condition over the long term. In an article published on Healthy Sleep, titled: “Sleep and Disease Risk”, the following is said:

“What many people do not realize is that a lack of sleep—especially on a regular basis—is associated with long-term health consequences, including chronic medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, and that these conditions may lead to a shortened life expectancy.”

Whilst mild diseases, like flu, come and go – you have a responsibility to nurture your body and help it avoid and fight off chronic diseases.

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7. Helps maintain a healthy weight

Being heavy sucks! You are inundating the body with unnecessary responsibilities.

Sleeping helps with metabolism, thus assisting you to keep a healthy weight.

8. Reduces your “beat down” vulnerability

In this violent world that we live in, beat downs have become a norm. Why? Well, there are a number of reasons. One of them is being irritable. Irritable people snap quickly, often talk before they think and are all too willing ‘fight over issues’. At times, the fighting is literal and leads to a beat down. Get some sleep. Relax. Chill out a bit and you’ll get involved in less brawls.

In conclusion, sleep is an under-estimated necessary of a joy-filled and fruitful life. Whilst you don’t want to be a couch potato, neglecting to get adequate sleep is shooting yourself in the foot.

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Peteni Kuzwayo

Peteni is the founder of Run For Wealth. He shares about entrepreneurship and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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