Have you ever left your computer running for too long to the point where it starts to overheat and slow down? Often at this point, we know it’s as simple as shutting and restarting it. Then, presto! You’ve got a brand new, smooth-running machine.
Your body is much like a computer. If you’re not getting enough sleep, it’s going to start slowing down.
Whether you’re putting in hard days with your workouts to achieve a fitness goal, or you’re gunning for a promotion at work, shutting down properly overnight is the key to optimizing your body and mind.
So what can happen to your body if you don’t get enough sleep?
Are you gaining weight and not sure why? You might want to shift your attention from your plate to your pillow. Medical News Today reports that your hunger hormones are impacted when your body is sleep deprived, which can lead you to the pantry for a salty or sweet snack.
Your body could be stressed if you’re not getting enough pillow time. Healthline reports a lack of sleep is linked to weakened immunity, making you more susceptible to viruses like the flu or the common cold. If you’re snotty-nosed all the time, perhaps try to fix your sleeping patterns first before you stock up on antibiotics.
Sleep deprivation can equal depression. One study even found that subjects with insomnia were five more times likely to develop low mood. Then the vicious cycle continues, as depression can cause lack of sleep.
An important one if you’re going for that promotion. If you’re trying to maintain a sharp memory, you’re going to need a full night’s sleep. The part of your brain where long-term memories are stored is seriously impacted in people who can’t sleep well.
Convinced you need more sleep but don’t know how? Here are a few tips for optimizing your nightly rest:
Black out before bed – No phones, no TV, no laptop. Just you and a book. Blue light is a brain stimulant and can lead you to feel wired once you turn your device off. If you really can’t say goodnight to your phone yet, put it on ‘night mode’ for warm light instead.
Eat some low-GI carbohydrates at dinner – Your body will be focused on breaking down the carbs, putting you into a nice, sleepy lull. Try sweet potato or brown rice.
Stop thinking – Count your breaths. Do your Centr daily meditation. Whatever it takes to stop your mind from wandering down the “if I go to sleep NOW, I’ll get seven hours and nine minutes of sleep” road, or thinking about how much work you have to do tomorrow.
Keep your room cool – Science suggests that your body falls asleep quicker in cooler conditions.
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