Is sleep as much of a health priority as nutritious eating and regular exercise?
According to the latest studies, the answer is a resounding “yes!” Taking steps to better manage personal sleep habits can have positive effects far beyond simply feeling more awake in the morning.
Studies have shown that people who sleep less than six hours a night have a higher BMI (Body Mass Index) than those who sleep more than six hours per night. Why is it that someone’s BMI would be higher by getting less sleep each night? The evidence states that the less sleep one gets, the more the body thinks it is in ‘danger,’ which increases stress levels and the sensation of hunger. These effects lead to eating more over time and increasing BMI.
Lack of sleep not only affects BMI, but can also negatively affect some of the following:
- Performance and alertness
- Memory and cognition
- Immune system
- Mental well-being
To improve the quality and quantity of your sleep, try these simple tips:
- Spend 5-10 minutes meditating
- Unwind before going to bed with a calming chair yoga sequence
- Create a comfortable sleep environment
- Keep regular sleep hours
- Avoid stimulants
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a light snack before bed
- Avoid alcohol before bed
- Don’t sleep more than needed
- Keep your room as dark as possible
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