When work deadlines and daily stressors start to take a toll, we often neglect to get an adequate amount of sleep. It’s a vicious cycle—we can’t peacefully drift off to sleep because we’re stressed….but a solid night’s rest is just what we need to help manage the tasks at hand. It’s important to understand WHY getting your snooze on is vital to your overall well-being, as well as how to aid the process.
Skimping on sleep can cause your brain to function at the bare minimum, leaving you more forgetful, irritable and worn out overall. Sleep functions as a kind of repair service for your body, clearing toxins and allowing the brain and the heart to rest overnight. In fact, proper rest is increasingly being recognized as a key factor in longevity. A 2016 study found that those who get fewer than six hours of slumber a night have a higher mortality rate than those who manage to get the recommended seven to nine hours. Recent research also shows that sleep may even affect brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s, as well as metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity.
Inadequate sleeping patterns can even be detrimental to your immune system, so you’re more likely to fall ill if you are not consistently getting a good number of hours of rest each night. Moreover, if you’re trying to lose weight, you won’t find any assistance if you’re lacking in the sleep department because your leptin levels drop when you’re tired, causing you to feel even hungrier.
Aside from the usual “counting sheep,” “relaxing your body one piece at a time, from head to toe” or “glass of warm milk” methods, there are some new devices on the market that can assist with troubled sleep. An aromatherapy diffuser can provide you with a mist of calming essential oil—such as lavender—that could help lull you into a soothing sleep. Or track down the hot ZEEQ Smart Pillow, which features functions that allow you to play music wirelessly, minimize snoring and produce a helpful sleep analysis. There’s also a system called Sense with Voice that helps you discover trends in your sleep quality, while also learning how environment affects it.
Don’t disregard the importance of a good night’s rest. Find what works for you in order to meet the recommended evening dose of Zs and you’ll be on your way to a healthier, happier you!