Apr 2, 2013

Get your ZZzs

We've all heard someone say, "I need my beauty sleep." The truth of the matter is, we all need our beauty sleep. Getting enough sleep is just as important to our health as nutrition and exercise. Sleep improves memory, helps to regulate weight, prevents disease, and even increases life expectancy. During sleep, your brain and other vital organs regenerate. Sleep is also an important fasting period and helps to regulate hormones that control your appetite. Sleep deprivation suppresses immune system function. In fact, those who sleep 6-8 hours a night live longer than those who sleep less than 6 hours every night.

When we sleep, we go through a sleep cycle. To achieve the most restful sleep, we need to enter what is called a REM cycle. As adults, we should be getting 7-8 hours. For me, I function best on at least 8 hours of sleep. However, this is not always possible. Since my husband Chad works until the wee hours of the morning, it's not rare for me to only get 5 or 6 hours of sleep a night. In addition to staying off the computer late at night to let my brain shut off, I've developed a few ways to get the most out of my evening in bed...

1. Wear an Eye mask: even the smallest amount of light can disrupt a sleep cycle. An eye mask ensures my eyes stay closed and there is no light to disturb my sleep cycle.

2. Breathing Exercises: The second way is to focus on taking long, deep, diaphragmatic breaths.

3. Lavender: Most recently, I have been using an Original Scent lavender spray on my bed linens and boy oh boy, have I been sleeping!

Since dreaming mostly occurs during the REM cycle (the deepest part of sleep), I know the lavender works. Whenever I spray the room with lavender,  I have vivid dreams and wake up feeling well rested! REM Cycle time! 

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