It is amazing that as parents, when our kids get a bit cranky, we realize they are in need of a nap. What about you? You are irritable, getting on everyone’s nerves and snapping at things that are just plain silly. To add insult to your funky attitude, you want to argue about every little thing.
Sleep is important to maintaining a healthy and functioning system. Running around all day, texting all night and jumping from pillow to post, in essence, is killing you. Although you may feel like the player of the year, what you are doing is getting played. Your body needs to rest in order for you to be healthy.
Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and sex drive. However, there are some unknown benefits of sleep, like improving your memory. Lack of sleep has also been clinically found to reduce your life span. Your organs work best when you are asleep. It is like an overnight cleaning crew takes over your body, while your liver pulls down toxins, flushing them toward evacuation through your kidneys and bladder and your colon. These bad occupants cause inflammation. Sleep allows the body to reduce inflammation that is linked the diabetes, arthritis, stroke and heart disease. Research indicates that people who get less sleep—six or fewer hours a night—have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get more.
Let’s face it, when you feel bad, you are not at your best. It has been found by researchers at Harvard University and Boston College that people seem to strengthen the emotional components of a memory during sleep, which may help spur the creative process. Not only will you be more creative, sleep will give you more stamina. A Stanford University study found that college football players who tried to sleep at least 10 hours a night for seven to eight weeks improved their average sprint time and had less daytime fatigue and more stamina.
Now that you are aware of the reasons for good sleep, let’s talk about some ways to make sure you get to your happy place. The fastest way to get to a place of peace, is to remove the distractions which ruffle the feathers in your favorite pillow.
However, many Americans, especially men are suffering with sleep issues. You know why? You are over stimulated.
You are taking in too much sugar, playing with your phone way too late, consuming caffeine in the afternoon and you aren’t stretching. Yes, I said stretching, like in yoga. Try this restful Reclined Butterfly pose from Tanya Boulton, managing teacher at Pure Yoga East in New York City. You may be surprised at what a little downward facing dog before bed can do for your body.
According to Kristen L. Knutson, PhD, assistant professor and sleep specialist at the University of Chicago’s Department of Medicine, “Certain habits you’re unaware of could be sabotaging your sleep.” And, as you may know, lack of shut-eye doesn’t just leave you foggy the next day: Chronic, long-term insufficient sleep ups your odds of diabetes, depression, cardiovascular disease, even weight gain. So what to do? Try these unexpected tweaks, and wake up feeling incredibly well-rested.
Halt your afternoon habit of coffee or tea right before you go to bed, even better, no caffeine after 4 pm.
Choose sleep superfoods like light whole-wheat-pasta dish with fresh vegetables, a little diced turkey breast. This meal contains a snooze-friendly combination of protein and tryptophan, an amino acid that converts to sleep-promoting serotonin in the body. If you are hungry late at night, try a small bowl of cottage cheese with banana slices or the old standby milk and graham crackers. If that is too childish for your suave taste, skip the two fingers of scotch and opt for a bit of wine.
A man drinking wine is always sexy. Your woman will think you are refined and cultured and ish. If you like a glass of wine in the evening, have it with dinner—around 6 p.m. rather than 11—and drink in moderation, so it’ll wear off by the time you lie down
. Don’t forget, your body had to cool down for it to reach an optimal temperature for a good night’s sleep.
Last but not least, turn off the smartphone. You are sleeping, and whoever is texting you, need to take t
heir ass to bed as well. Texting in bed can geek you up with funny items that you want to post, forward or tweet.
Turn that damned thing off and take your butt to bed!
I’ll talk to you later.