Sleep your way to good health

Well, if you have also decided to become healthy and lead a better lifestyle, let me tell you something very basic and quite frankly, an easy first step. SLEEP.

Have you ever realized how great you felt just after a good night’s sleep and thought “wow, today is mine, I can conquer anything today, I’m feeling so energetic and enthusiastic?” Have you ever noticed how easy the day went by when you had a great night’s sleep? Although we all know its importance and see the implications of lack of sleep or over sleeping daily, we tend to neglect it and ignore to treat sleep as an integral part of a healthy lifestyle.

Modern Life: Sleep is more important than ever before

Do you know that we are putting at least 5 times more strain on our eyes than our predecessors? While the previous generation didn’t put much strain on eyes on a daily basis, think of the strain we put on our eyes by using various gadgets like computers, mobile devices for everything from work to games to online shopping to entertainment. No wonder we and our children are having eye related problems which our moms, dads, aunts and uncles had only from their 50s. In fact, my 2 year old niece was recently diagnosed with eye sight problem which can be only attributed to the kind of lifestyle choices we are being forced into and also the exposure to the modern day gadgets.

In fact, most of us end up spending close to 10 hours per day using computers, mobile phones on all things necessary to pure waste of time. We actually sleep only when our eyes are red and can no longer bear the strain we put on them. Over a period of time, we get accustomed to sleep only when our eyes are totally strained and turned red.

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Miles to go before you sleep?

I have come across many people who say, “Well, sleep is a waste of time as I can do more productive things by being awake”.  This “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” overachiever attitude assumes that our bodies aren’t doing anything useful when we’re buried beneath the covers. This in fact is absolutely wrong.

On the contrary, Sleep is actually an incredibly active time for our bodies and brains. This is the time when our body undergoes all kinds of growth and repair processes through a dynamic biochemical orchestration.  This creates a special support for neurological performance, endocrine balance, immune system functioning, and musculoskeletal growth and repair. In fact, you wouldn’t be half the man or woman you are without the physiological feats sleep achieves. I mean that both literally and figuratively, since sleep spurs the release of Human Growth Hormones (HGH), an essential player in cellular regeneration. I wish there’s another good name for sleep so that we all take it more seriously.

Then some others say “sleep reduces my time to enjoy stuff, whether watching movies, spending time with friends, or catching up on a late night football or a cricket match etc. For some, (including me, yeah), a night becomes a great time to “spend time with ourselves” when the night is hushed and everyone is asleep. This deep solitude is too much to resist and sometimes, we happily sacrifice a good night’s sleep to delve into ourselves. Well, all this comes with a side effect that the next day, waking up becomes so much of a task that our life looks all chaotic again.

In fact, if you want to go miles, you need a good little sleep.

What can a healthy sleep do to you?

“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?” 
― Ernest Hemingway

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Sleep has its benefits on everything in our daily-to-day life as well as long-term. While sleep is the natural way of recharging your batteries which get depleted everyday, it helps in improving concentration, memory and improves your overall health. Simply, put, the better u sleep, the longer and healthier you live.

Remember, a good night’s rest is the best phase of getting healed from any kinds of diseases/ulcers/inflammations. Any medication or a recovery from disease is hastened by a good sleep. Also, according to the “Health” Magazine, A 2010 study found that C-reactive protein, which is associated with heart attack risk, was higher in people who got six or fewer hours of sleep a night.

Additionally, the more your mind is relaxed through a good night’s sleep, the better it functions leading to better creativity, efficiency, problem solving and will power capabilities. Do you know that majority of the accidents on highways and roads happen not due to rash driving, but lack of sleep inducing mistakes on drivers.

However well intentioned we may be, there might be some natural distractions that we might have to encounter. Whether it’s a baby crying and waking us up in the middle of the night or an early morning flight that we have to catch or some critical assignments to finish. While, we can’t do much about these, all we can aim is to understand the benefits of sleep and give sleep its due.

Watch out for more on how to get a better sleep and what to do before and after a sleep.

Be healthy, Keep rocking, Keep LIVING.

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