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Saturday, December 11, 2010

The amazing benefits of a good nights' sleep!

Sleep what a wonderful thing. Here's an articles to let you know how wonderful it is.

By Susan Koranki
We all know that we feel better after 8 hours of zzzz's, but the reasons behind that feeling of well-being are not so well known.

After a long, tiring day, the idea of climbing into bed can seem like heaven. But for many of us, life is so busy, that sleep has become a 'luxury', the first thing we cut back on when time-crunched.

However, sleep ISN'T an luxury, it's an absolutely vital, and integral part, of a healthy lifestyle - it's a NECESSITY!

Do you know that if you didn't sleep at all, you would actually die? Surprised? Well, it's true. Of course, going without sleep altogether isn't on anyones' 'To Do List', but we rarely see anything wrong with burning the candle at both ends.

Surely we can get by on 5 hours a night? Bill Clinton reportedly doesn't need much sleep, neither does Martha Stewart, Margaret Thatcher, or several other famous people.

While these high-profilers (and a small percentage of other 'regular folks', overall less than 10% of the population) seem able to function perfectly well on the bare minimum (and below), the majority of us pay a serious price for our self-imposed sleep deprivation.

Here are some of the varied and much-needed benefits of sleep.....

Repairs body tissues at a cellular level, and helps to combat the effects of stress, pollution, infection and more.

Keeps your heart health and strong by lowering levels of stress and inflammation in your body, and lowering blood pressure and heart-rate.

Lowering levels of stress hormones in your body. High levels of these hormones is believed to increase the aging and degeneration of your organs and cells.

Improves memory and cognitive function. The organization and storing of memories takes place during sleep. If you're short of sleep, your memory suffers.

Helps us to learn new skills. Research done by the Harvard Medical School concluded that REM sleep seems to be essential for learning how to do things. 'Sleep on it' takes on a whole new meaning now!

Helps control body weight by regulating the hormones that affect your appetite.

These are just a few of the most amazing benefits of getting a good nights' sleep. There are many others that are less obvious, but just as important when it comes to the quality of our daily lives.

When we don't get enough sleep, we pay a price both physically and mentally, but that's not the only fallout from our shortened nights.

Our friends, families, social networks, workplaces and more are all affected. When we're tired we are short-tempered and impatient, emotional, volatile and sometimes hostile or aggressive. Our mental and physical reactions are slower and our chances of being involved in a traffic or work-related accident increase, while our immune system function decreases. All in all, a recipe for disaster!

Statistics show that over 30 Million Americans suffer from insomnia; healthcare and medications for people suffering from insomnia costs the US government well over $14 BILLION dolllars a year; absenteeism and lowered productivity due to insomnia costs US industries over $150 BILLION dollars a year; and the National Sleep Foundation research show that sleepy drivers are involved in about 100,000 vehicle accidents every year. Frightening statistics aren't they?

So, do you still think sleep is a luxury? I doubt it, but what are YOU going to actually do about it? Whatever you decide, you can't ignore the fact that the benefits of sleep are something you need to make the effort to bring into your life.

There is no prize for being the most sleep-deprived member of your family or workplace, 'busy-ness' is not a badge of honor and sleeping is not laziness of a waste of time. These are current-day myths that we need to recognize as such, if we want to turn the tables.

If you usually only manage 5 or 6 hours a night (or less), you're building up a considerable 'sleep debt' that will need to be repaid at some point, in some way.

To improve the quality and quantity of your sleep, you need to move sleep to the top of your 'To-Do' list and re-organize your priorities. It really is THAT important!

Susan Koranki
To learn more about the benefits of sleep, how to overcome common sleep disorders, remedies and treatments, why we dream and a whole lot more, visit http://www.better-sleep-better-life.com

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