Benefits of Sleep

The last few nights have been a constant battle of trying to get myself in bed before my weeknight (aka corporate world) curfew. While it’s a battle I’ve seemed to be losing these past few days, it results in a tough decision… Get the extra hour or so of sleep, or get up and hit the gym. Typically I make it a punishment that if I break curfew, I have no other choice but to get up and sweat it out. But I’m quickly starting to realize a girl can’t live off 5 hours of sleep a night!

We all know the answer is clearly BALANCE, but when that seems impossible, it’s important to be making decisions that will keep you healthy instead of running you into the ground.  I’m starting to accept it’s not a bad thing to sleep in past 5 am on a weekday and get that extra bit of shut-eye.  Being restless and groggy can lead to poor eating choices, and in my case, sugar cravings! There are ways to incorporate extra calorie burn (seen here) throughout the day so that if you need to give yourself a free pass [[every now and again]]… it won’t kill ya.

Of course, the benefits to working out are limitless; improves mood, boosts energy, weight control, ups your metabolism, relieves stress… you get the point! But sometimes what isn’t so obvious are the benefits of a good night’s rest.  Here are a few reasons from Health.com on why it may not always be so bad to hit snooze and stay curled up in your comfy bed an extra hour… just don’t make it a habit 🙂

Improves memory: If you’re trying to learn something new, you will perform better after a good nights rest.  During sleep you can strengthen memories or practice skills learned while you were awake–>Hence why you rest up for athletic competitions or college exams.

Live longer: As simple as too much or too little sleep is associated with a shorter lifespan.

Curb inflammation: Which is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and premature aging. Research shows that people who get less than 6 hours of sleep a night have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins.

Spur creativity: Research indicates that people seem to strengthen the emotional components of a memory during sleep, which may help spur the creative process.

Improves athletic and scholarly performance: Easy one… being well rested helps your physical and mental performance.

Maintain a healthy weight: “Sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain,” Dr. Rapoport says. “When you are sleepy, certain hormones go up in your blood, and those same hormones drive appetite.”

Lower stress and anxiety: “Sleep can definitely reduce levels of stress, and with that people can have better control of their blood pressure,” Dr. Jean says. “It’s also believed that sleep affects cholesterol levels, which plays a significant role in heart disease.” According to Dr. Jean you also get more emotion stability with good sleep which helps you steer clear of depression.

Overall who doesn’t want to banish under eye circles and maintain glowing skin while living a happy and healthier life?  I’m not saying use this as an excuse to be a repeat offender on that snooze button [because we all know my morning workouts are more effective than my post run cup of joe] but when there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in a day, make sure to BALANCE as best you can!

❤ Jamie

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