It is the time of year when everyone is working diligently on their lists of New Year’s resolutions. Many people will resolve to diet, go on a health detox, exercise more, or perform better at work. What they may not realize when trying to achieve these goals is that the amount of quality sleep they are getting will play a key role in their success or failure.
Sleep and Diet
Our eating habits -what we eat and when- are intimately connected to our sleep quality, mostly thanks to how they relate to consumption and energy consumption. To function throughout the day, we need the right amount of energy at the right time and nightly rejuvenation that is only achieved from getting quality sleep. When we get poor sleep, we start the day at a disadvantage. Our bodies will almost immediately create cravings for high-fat, quick energy foods. In other words, we will want junk food that provides little, if any, nutritional benefit. Eating this type of food causes our bodies to demand snacks between meals which knocks our regular meal-time routine out of sync. This gives our bodies erratic boosts and slumps of energy during the day, which results in poor sleep- then the cycle starts all over again the next day. By having a good night’s sleep followed by a nutritious breakfast will allow our bodies to function properly until our next nutritious meal at lunch, and the desire for fatty foods won’t arise.
Sleep and Detox
Not only does good sleep help generate the energy we need to face the day, but it provides the body with a rejuvenation process for skin cells and tissue. The vitamins our bodies produce during sleep can help with bags under the eyes and wrinkles, so you will look as fresh as you feel. This vitamin production also helps to boost our immune system, strengthening our bodies against the threat of illness and infection, improving our overall health and wellbeing.
Sleep and Exercise
Regular exercise is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle. Sleeping better will actually make us exercise more. Researchers have found that the amount of sleep we get tonight actually impacts how much exercise we will get tomorrow. The less we sleep, the less we will work out. So, to get in better shape and finally commit to that exercise program, start by making an effort to get more sleep. Vigorous exercise should not be performed within three hours of bedtime. The flood of serotonin and other hormones that exercise creates can act as stimulants, keeping the mind active and alert at a point when you need to relax. The rapid warming up and slow warming down that exercise produces also act in contrast to the body’s natural temperature changes required for a quick transition to sleep.
Sleep and Work
Decision-making, memory ability and sociability, all skills required in the workplace, are all affected by how well-rested we are. Going to work after a night of poor sleep sets us up for a day of low productivity, irritability, stress, and struggle. Ensuring that we get the sleep we need equips our mind and body with the energy necessary to perform our work roles as well as possible. Without quality sleep, we will never reach our full productive potential.
If you find that you are having trouble sleeping through the night or feeling rested, then you may benefit from a visit to Valley Sleep Center. Call one of our five convenient Valley locations today to schedule your sleep consult.