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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.

More by this author

Peteni Kuzwayo

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

10 Best Time Management Books for Maximized Productivity Checking Your Phone Before Bed Harms Health And Lowers Productivity 10 Common Toxic Thoughts That Are Ruining People’s Lives (But They’re Unaware Of It) 15 Habits That Make Ultra Successful People Stand Out This is Why Your Body Loves Sleep

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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