Sleep is one of the best ways we can care for our mind and body. While most of us know we should be aiming for around 7 to 9 hours of sleep nightly, the average Fitbit user is getting about 6 hours and 38 minutes of sleep.
It can be difficult to prioritize sleep given the demands of our day-to-day. But what you might not realize is that sleep could be the missing link to optimizing your health. If you’re willing and able to start looking into your own sleep habits, you just might find that you inch closer and closer to your personal wellness goals.
So, don’t wait! Find motivation to get back to your sleep routine tonight and learn how it may benefit you below.
Give your workout a boost. Have you ever tried to work out on too little sleep? Chances are you were less motivated to get out there and maybe didn’t have the energy to complete the workout. You can improve your athletic performance just by getting some extra Zzz’s.
Get better control of your eating habits. A new study suggests that lack of quality sleep may lead to higher food intake and poorer overall diet quality. Additionally, a change in your hormones that help regulate hunger could leave you reaching for sweet treats late into the evening.
Help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. While scientists continue to find clues to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, research does show how good sleep and sleep hygiene may be an important piece of the puzzle. Sleep, in essence, helps “clean” out the brain at the end of each day.
Help you make effort-related choices. Taking on healthy habits doesn’t have to be hard, but it takes a concerted effort. Sleep loss may impact your ability to make the tough decisions, to choose the better option, or to make that healthy meal at home instead of ordering-in.
Positively impact your mood. Bad weather, work stress, and day-to-day responsibilities can surely bring us down, but getting quality sleep at night may actually help keep our spirits high!
Increase mindfulness. While we know that meditation and mindfulness have an impact on our sleep, what we’re beginning to better understand is how sleep may have an impact on our mindfulness. In a small study with full-time nurses, optimal sleep health improved their daily mindfulness, such as better attention and awareness.
So why not ask yourself, how might your life be different if you got an extra hour of sleep tonight? What if you got an extra hour of sleep each night for the rest of this month? What might change for you?
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.