Self-Health Habit #12:
Get More Sleep

Sleep is one of those things that most of us don’t get enough of. Though the restorative impact it has on our bodies is well known, I bet we don’t even know the half of it. The busyness of this time of year can be an arch enemy of slumber, so make sure you don’t become a victim of seasonal sleep deprivation.

You, being the self-healther that you are, don’t need me to convince you that sleep is crucial for optimal health. But allow me to point you in the direction of several SRP posts that can help you build on your knowledge and deepen your self-health education.

Let’s start with why we need sleep. Tom Hagerty explains how the brain goes through a cleansing process during a healthful night’s sleep, and why this power cleanse may reduce your risk of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, in “To Sleep, Perchance to Dream.”

So, what qualifies as good, healthful sleep? In “Sleep: 40 Winks of Good Health,” I discuss what happens during the various stages of sleep. Each stage is important, and you know you’ve had a good night’s sleep when you cycle through each of them.

Does it really matter when you fall asleep? Circadian rhythm is a real thing. However, whether you’re a night owl or an early bird, the most important consideration is the quality of the sleep you get when you close your eyes. Make that your focus.

If getting enough healthy sleep is a struggle for you, the big question—and goal—should be centered around how to make it happen. SRP offers good information on this too. In “How Poor Nutrition Can Lead to Sleep Disorders,” Frank Apodaca looks at the role that diet can play in your sleep cycle. And former insomniac Maria Atwood discusses some of the main obstacles that prevent us from getting a good night’s sleep in her exhaustive post “Insomnia Relief!

Finally, whether you have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep, or even nightmares or terrors interrupting your sleep, in “It’s Never to Late to Sleep Like a Baby” Dr. Lowell Keppel explains what these particular sleep issues may indicate about your nutritional status while offering suggestions on how to deal with each. And for the seriously sleep-deprived, this information-packed laminated chart from Dr. Keppel of the same name is a great resource to keep close by.

So, my friends, don’t let the season’s festivities take precedence over getting enough sleep. As a matter of fact, make it the reason you get more sleep this month. It’s the best gift you can give yourself.

Image from iStock/Imagisnation Photography (main).

Paula Widish

Paula Widish, author of Trophia: Simple Steps to Everyday Self-Health, is a freelance writer and self-healther. She loves nothing more than sharing tidbits of information she discovers with others. (Actually, she loves her family more than that—and probably bacon too.) Paula has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Public Relations and is a Certified Professional Life Coach through International Coach Academy.

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