Sleeping time is not wasted time! Many of us believe that if we reduce our sleep time and use that time for work, we will be that much closer to our goals. Not true. Rather if this is your strategy, then you are burning yourself out, mentally and physically, because good quality sleep is crucial for both.
There are others who compromise sleep time for entertainment — television, digital gadgets and partying. This again can cause irreparable damage to your health in the long run.
Sleep is important because it empowers the body to repair itself rejuvenating it for a new day. Getting adequate rest can help prevent many lifestyle diseases including excess weight gain and heart disease.
Let’s glance through the health benefits of quality sleep.
- Improves Productivity and Focus
Sleep time is detox time for the brain as it clears toxic dead cells and prepares us for the next day. Sleep is associated with brain functions such as concentration, productivity and cognition. Poor sleep at night can result in micro-sleeps during the day — those times when we find ourselves dozing off at our desks. Even if you are a night owl, try and build up a regular sleep routine that gives you at least 7 hours of solid sleep. What exactly happens when we sleep, watch our YouTube video.
- Reduces the Risk of Weight Gain
Sleeplessness is associated with high fat and alcohol consumption and stress and the result is hormonal variations that get manifested as weight gain. So, try and stick to healthy sleep habits and avoid foods and activities that disrupt your sleep cycle.
Read Sleeplessness and Obesity for more information.
Also keep away from gadgets an hour or two before hitting the pillow, as these too disrupt the sleep cycle. How? Read more here
- Reduces the Risk of Heart Issues
Lack of sleep impacts all our systems and has its effects on aggravating lifestyle diseases such as blood pressure and diabetes. This has a cascading effect on the body compromising brain and heart health. So those with underlying health conditions should pay particular attention to sleep. If inadequate sleep is a continuing issue, then make sure you consult a doctor to find out why. For more information on why sleep is so important hear from Pratimoksha founder Lalitha Viswanath on our YouTube show
- Helps Combat Stress and Anxiety
We are all prone to stress and anxiety particularly during these tough times of the #pandemic. By cutting into our sleep time, we prevent our brains from efficiently carrying out its nightly detox. This means on the morrow we are more tired. We might notice a certain degree of brain fog. Obviously, these are stressors on our already stressed and overworked minds. Quality sleep will therefore help in successfully dealing with mental health issues such as depression and panic attacks.
- Better Sleep Equals Better Mood
It follows that good sleep will put us in an elevated mood — more confident and positive. This in turn helps us perform better at work, boosting productivity and focus. Notice if you are taking micro sleeps during the day. In other words, those times when you nod off at your desk. This is an indication that you haven’t had your quota of sleep. Sleep refreshes us for the next day, making us more positive and alive to all those moments of joy and happiness in our lives.
- Improves Memory
Why search for memory boosting pills when the remedy is already available to us? Apart from all the benefits that our bodies derive during sleep, it is also the time when short-term memories are converted to long-term memories. Curious about the science of sleep, watch
So, let’s take steps today to look at our lifestyle and habits. Let’s discard habits that don’t serve us and replace them with ones that nourish and strengthen.
Yoga offers several techniques that help improve sleep. A daily routine of breathing exercises can work wonders as also Yoga Nidra.
Check our blog How to Improve Your Sleep with Breathing Exercises
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