Consider the benefits of sleep — improved mood, energy, performance, recovery… the list goes on. The benefits are clear, yet, our society still deems sleep a luxury! According to the CDC, more than one-third of adults don’t get enough sleep, not to mention the poor quality of sleep that 60% of American’s report.
As a society, we’re so quick to throw around the term “self-care”, but are we really listening to our own advice? When we think of self-care, images of facemasks and spa days often appear in our minds, but self-care is truly anything that benefits the mind and body. And, it starts with one thing: sleep.
Investing in rest has suddenly become a booming wellness trend, and we’re ready to jump on the bandwagon. So, are you with us? Let’s deem sleep-care as self-care and ditch our overly packed schedules and sleepless nights, shall we?
The Importance of Sleep
If you’ve noticed yourself nodding off throughout the day, more irritable than usual, or lacking in energy and motivation, you may be suffering from a lack of sleep. When it comes to health, sleep is the quintessential element. Sleep is a time to recharge, repair our body, restore our energy, and prepare for the day ahead. As you can see, prioritizing sleep-care as self-care is the foundation of health!
How Much Sleep Do You Need?
So, how much sleep do you need? According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average adult needs 7 to 9 hours of well-rested sleep per night — this means disturbance-free! Sleep disturbances can have a significant impact on our quantity and quality of sleep and negatively impact on our health.
If you need help achieving quality sleep, try these 20 life changing sleep hacks and get the deep sleep you deserve.
Developing A Healthy Sleep Routine
While we often highlight our morning routine, developing a healthy evening routine can be just as important! Research suggests sleep irregularities are associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, obesity, depression, and anxiety. By developing a consistent evening routine, we can positively impact both our health and quality of life — it all starts with sleep-care as self-care!
If you’re lacking a sleep routine, we’ve got the ultimate sleep guide to help you develop healthy habits. Try these tips to learn the do’s and don’ts when it comes to sleep hygiene!
So, now that you understand the importance of sleep, it’s time to say goodbye to your “busy is better” mindset and embrace a new mindset all about rest and recovery.
Read on to discover why you should prioritize sleep-care as self-care.
The Top Reasons Why Sleep-Care as Self-Care Is Key to Optimal Health
Extra Zzz’s Boost Productivity
The irony of sleep deprivation is we’re usually wasting our precious hours of beauty rest trying to be productive (when we’re not binge-watching Netflix, that is). While we have good intentions, research suggests maximizing your sleep time is more beneficial for productivity. Maybe you’re skimping on sleep to study for an exam, respond to emails, or catch up on work — whatever the case, it can (and should) wait!
Studies confirm the benefits of sleep-care as self-care, indicating increased sleep boosts productivity by improving memory, attention, and performance, while decreased sleep is significantly tied to procrastination.
Increase Your Sleep, Increase Your Immunity
Boosting your immune system could be considered the ultimate act of self-care, as it promotes many healthy lifestyle habits: taking daily vitamins, prioritizing immune-boosting foods, and limiting stress, to name a few. But, while you’re prioritizing these areas, don’t forget to pay extra attention to healthy sleep habits.
Recent research suggests sleep and immunity are directly related, which is why sleep-care as self-care is vital. Improved sleep has been shown to reduce the risk of infections as well as improve symptoms once infected, while decreased sleep has the opposite effect.
Snooze Your Way To Less Stress
Stress reduction is the ultimate goal of most self-care practices, which is just another reason to support sleep-care as self-care.
Research suggests even partial sleep deprivation has a significant effect on stress and mood. Lack of sleep is associated with increased feelings of stress, anxiety, and overall mental exhaustion, and could even increase emotional stress by up to 30%. The solution? Catch some Z’s!
Deep sleep has been shown to calm and reset an anxious brain. Developing a regular sleep routine can reduce overall stress by resetting the body’s circadian rhythm, supporting a healthy sleep-wake cycle. Speaking of a sleep routine, if you want to deepen your inner zen, meditation before bed may further reduce cortisol levels and promote a restful night’s sleep.
Try a Fit On Meditation with DeAndre Sinette for The Deepest Sleep Ever!
Wake Up With Healthier Thoughts
Self-care goes beyond physical health. It’s the act of investing in yourself — mind, body, and soul. This means equal emphasis on mental and emotional health, too. Ever notice how self-awareness practices such as meditation, journaling, and gratitude are always trending as self-care methods? Well, it’s because they work!
The mind and body are intimately connected, which is why sleep-care as self-care may be more powerful than you think. A recent study suggests a healthy sleep cycle can repair functional brain activity and improve the regulation of emotions. When we neglect healthy sleep habits, research suggests we’re more likely to have negative thoughts. As you can see, those extra hours of sleep are crucial for both your mind and body.
Make Your Bedroom Your Sleep Sanctuary
Embracing a fast-paced life of constant stimulation, excessive work, and lack of sleep is a recipe for burnout. Sleep should be considered the pillar of health, which is why it’s time to give sleep the attention it deserves. This year is all about slowing down and nourishing our mind and body. So, if you truly want to improve your health, start with sleep-care as self-care.