04 January, 2009

Health Tip of the Day - Sleep

A good night's sleep is essential for your health. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day to wake up refreshed and energized. It is best not to need an alarm clock to wake you up. Adjust your bedtime until you wake up naturally just before your alarm clock goes off. If you are a dyed-in-the-wool night owl, note your current bedtime. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier every 3 days until you have the right balance.

A power down hour helps to ensure a good night's sleep. One hour before bedtime, prepare your body for rest:

☻ Get away from the computer or TV. The video display 'excites' your brain cells, so they have a harder time shutting down.
☻ Spend 20 minutes doing light chores that must be done so you will sleep better (pack book bags, make lunches, do NOT do heavy cleaning).
☻ Spend 20 minutes on personal hygiene
☻ Spend 20 minutes reading or meditating. If you read before bedtime, it is better to read with a book light so you are not exposed to bright light before sleeping.

If you only have 30 minutes, do each of these activities for 10 minutes.

Science has shown that having a TV or computer in your bedroom interferes with sleep. Even when they are turned off, they emit a negative sound and disrupt sleep and energy levels. Bedrooms should be a place of peaceful retreat to support quality sleep.

Adults require between 5-10 hours of sleep a night, teens need 8 to 12 hours, children need 10 or more, depending on their age. You will need to discover the proper amount for your body. A recent study from the United Kingdom reports that the lower the number of hours you sleep, the higher the likelihood you will put on extra weight, the higher your chances of having a stroke, and your immune system will be out of balance - leading to yeast overgrowth, allergies, and even cancer.

Check this article for a good overview of the benefits of sufficient sleep.

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