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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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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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