The benefits of having a good nights sleep

I have a confession to make.  I am definitely a nightowl and this is something I need to and want to change.  Unfortunately it is part of being a perfectionist - we tend to stay up late because we are super organised and there is always something to do to keep all our ducks in a row.

My quality pillow time is the next habit on my agenda.  Are you surprised to know 1 in 3 adults report not getting enough sleep?  I hit the sack quite late and still rise early which sometimes leaves me feeling fatigued and irritated.  I read an article on the benefits of sleep which nudged me to make the change.  It is not going to be easy and if you are a night owl like myself then it is essential you set up your space and wind yourself down to enable you to drift off.  I am in the process of writing my second book on the importance of being self aware and came across a study published in JAMA stating those who practice being self aware, focusing on experiences and emotions in the moment combined with better sleeping habits are more likely to sleep better. So look out for my next book!!

The Benefits of a Good Night Sleep - The Power of Mindfullness

1.  You will be happier

Between 15 and 20% of people diagnosed with insomnia are likely to develop major depression. For those of us who just dont get enough sleep - a restless night can affect your mood.  Another study looked at healthy sleepers, waking half of them several times during the night.  These were found to have a negative attitude during the next day.  So not only do you need to retire at a reasonable hour - the quality of your sleep is just as important.

2.  You will be slimmer

Research shows a link between lack of sleep and weight gain.  An endocrine society study found that even a 30 min debt of sleep could significantly impact on weight gain.  Other research showed that sleep deprived individuals ate 385 more calories the next day compared to those who had quality sleep.

3.  You will be more fun to be around

 If you are sleep deprived, you will be more likely to react to situations on your emotions rather than being rational,  Getting more upset than usual over simple things resulting in you being a pain in the arse.

4.  You will be more likely to retain information.

Lack of sleep will affect concentration and your ability to retain information.  Sleep helps your brain re-set so it can learn and remember during your waking hours.  Scientists also suspect that sleep deprivation may impact the brains ability to make new memories.

You really need to set yourself up for quality sleep by -

  • putting yourself to bed Give yourself at least 30 min to prepare yourself.  By this I mean - brushing your teeth  etc (I cannot do mine too close to bedtime as it wakes me up) - Take a warm shower - pamper yourself with creams and oils.
  • Make sure your room is at the preferred temperature
  • Once you are cool and comfortable - keep it dark and quiet - your natural body clock is driven by light. Therefore a dark room will tell your eyes to tell your brain it is time for sleep.
  • Early evening I tend to burn lavender oil in the bedroom.  Lavender is the most common sleep inducing scent.  Personally I prefer sainsbury's oils - they burn really well and the aromas are lovely especially the lavender.  almost fill the top of your burner with warm water and add approx 6 - 10 drops of oil. 
  • Ditch the devices - This has been my downfall.  I would get into bed around 10 or 11 - then watch something on my ipad and wonder why I couldnt sleep.  If you need to do something then read.
  • Quit snack attacks - It is not rocket science that researchers have linked late night eating to weight gain but it can also have an impact on your quality of sleep.  same for alcohol.

There you have it - now I am going to practice what I preach.  good night Love