A good night’s sleep is about the only thing people actually like, that is good for them.
Sleep – your brain needs down time to regroup and refresh.
Your brain is “on” 24 – 7. It never stops working – it simply shifts gears. Think about a time when you have not gotten adequate sleep – for whatever reason. How did you feel? How did you function? “Not good” is the most probable and succinct (and printable) answer.
Your brain requires this downshift. Rest restores your brain’s ability to function optimally. Most people (except Einstein who reportedly slept four hours a night) function best with between seven and eight hours of sleep. According to research, sleep helps you to be more alert, increases memory function, boosts your immune system, makes your smarter and increases concentration (sleep before a test or interview), makes you a nicer person (no grumps allowed), makes you look better (they call it beauty sleep for a reason) and may even (are you ready for this) help you lose weight. Have I convinced you yet?
Every animal sleeps. If falling asleep has become difficult there are several (non prescription) ways to help your mind to relax. Try any of the following suggestions to see which is the most effective way to help you achieve a good night’s rest:
- drink a cup of warm chamomile based tea (no caffeine).
- drink a cup of warm milk – (add a teaspoon of almond flavoring).
- take a warm (not hot) bath.
- play soft music (on a machine that will turn itself off).
- breathe deeply for five full minutes.
- practice total body relaxation ( tighten each group of muscles from your toes to your head, hold for a count of five and then release).
- eliminate light and sound as much as possible.
- count your blessings (may work better than those silly sheep).
Whatever you need to do to get a restful night’s sleep, do it. Take a power nap during the day if you are feeling loaggy (a very technical term). Even a short time with eyes closed and feet up will help your brain to function better.
“Why specifically, is sleep important to my brain?” you might query
Sleep research is very prolific. Regarding specific brain benefits, researchers believe that during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, the brain transfers short-term memories through the brain’s electrical system to become long-term memories. Good sleep is not considered a luxury, but a necessity. Researchers believe that your alertness, energy, performance, thinking, productivity, creativity, safety and health will be affected by how much you sleep. Good sleep is the best predictor of life span and quality of life for all of the reasons listed. Make sure you get some zzzz’s, your brain will benefit.