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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 January 17, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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