What would you say if I told you I have just created a new magical pill and it has some amazing side effects? Some of the benefits of taking this are
Improve your memory
Help you concentrate better
Lower your stress level
Lower your blood pressure, risk of heart disease and cancer
Can build a stronger immune system
Help your weight loss and control your insulin levels better
Help prevent diabetes and obesity
Lower inflammation in your body
Help you perform better in the gym (and more importantly boot camp!)
Increase your life expectancy
Enhance your mood and lower your risk of depression and anxiety
Gives your healthier skin and a youthful appearance
What if I told you each of these claims were backed up by scientific research and aren’t just some bogus claims be me to boost sales? What if I told you there are no adverse side effects to taking this pill, no health warnings on the side of the box. You can get all these benefits with no risk attached. Sounds like this pill could make me a small fortune huh! Think of the difference I could make on the world with this magic formula. I could basically name my price for it and in fairness who wouldn’t pay top money for this. Honestly, I don’t think id even bother my ass marketing it, something this good will just sell itself!
Now what if I told you this product was free. Free! It wont even cost you a single penny to get this. Sounds even better yeah? What if I told you this amazing pill could be replaced by one simple action? Yeah you wont have to carry those pills around with you everywhere you go, you don’t have to worry about misplacing them or the kids feeding them to the dog. Its just one simple action. In fact its even an action that you are doing every single day anyway so its nothing new that you have to do. What if I told you it was sleep. Yep, simple SLEEP. Not too much hard work there in fairness! By just improving the quality and quantity of your sleep we can have an effect on your body that is truly amazing.
My apologies for getting your hopes up for that magic pill, sometimes the benefits of sleep just get overlooked and brushed aside yet if someone offered these improvements in product form people would go crazy for it. Sleeping more (and better) really does have all those benefits I listed earlier and can seen from getting 8 hours of really good sleep. Your entire quality of life can go up by just getting a little better at something you are already doing. Dr Kirk Parsley (one of the worlds leading sleep experts) summed up sleep pretty nicely in one of his recent seminars when he said
“When we sleep our brains flush harmful neurotoxins, we consolidate memories, we reinforce learning, we repair our bodies, we fight off infection and disease, we replenish hormones and neurotransmitters and we put our body in a physiological state to thrive the next day.”
That’s some pretty important stuff going on there while you sleep! So how can we actually improve our sleep and really get these benefits? Well below I have listed some tips and methods to help
1 Stop bright lights and screens atleast an hour before bedtime – TVs, phones and laptops all give off blue light. This blue light stops your body producing melatonin (the hormone that makes you sleepy) and will mess your sleep quality. Limit these devices atleast an hour before bed (earlier if you can) and dim the lighting in the house too
2 Limit caffeine – I know I cant drink a cup of coffee after 3pm without it disturbing my sleep for the night. Caffeine is a stimulant and increases cortical too, neither of which help you sleep. Try keeping your caffeine intake to early in the day and definitely avoid it come evening time. Swap coffee for some herbal tea in the eve to further help with sleep.
3 Set yourself a bedtime – Pretty simple and basic but with so many distractions in our life its easy to get caught up in other things and short change yourself on sleep. Set a time to go to bed and stick to it.
4 Get to bed earlier – Another simple way of getting more sleep is just go to bed earlier! If you are used to going to bed very late, slowly start to move your bedtime backwards. Don’t try and make a jump from a 11.30pm bedtime to 9pm, try a gradual shift of 15 minutes each night.
5 Sleep in a blackened out room – No TVS, phones etc should be used once you get into bed. Your room should be nice and dark and cool. Even LED lights from an alarm clock should be faced away from you and ideally the phone should be left outside of the room. Most importantly thou keep it dark
6 Make sleep a priority in you life – With all the benefits we have covered it should be clear that making sleep a priority should be a goal for us. Checking those statuses on Facebook or watching TV at 10 pm really shouldn’t be as important as getting a good sleep.
Hopefully after reading this you can see how beneficial a good sleep can be to you. Why just survive each day and plod through it when we can thrive and really get the most from our days. Implement some of these tips into your life and really focus on sleep for a while, even just 30 days, and see and feel the benefits and I promise you its worth it. Plus it means more time in bed, hard to beat that!