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How a Good Night's Sleep Makes You Happier, Healthier, and More Productive

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 4:26pm | by Guest Contributor

 

The dawn of the twenty-first century has shown an increase in fast-paced, technologically-impacted lifestyles that often leave people open to more stress than ever before.  There is so much more to do and places to go, more to find surfing the internet, more to watch on television and any number of hand-held devices developed in recent years.  More than ever, many people are not regularly getting the eight hours of sleep necessary for a healthy lifestyle.

Sleep deprivation – that is, under seven hours of sleep on a regular basis – can increase the levels of stress hormones in your body, leaving you open to decreased immune functions and a higher risk of illness or disease.  That means that the less you sleep, the more likely you are to get sick more often … and to stay sick.

Health benefits aside, we all know you don’t usually look your best after a night of tossing and turning.  Human growth hormones are responsible for rejuvenating your skin and muscle tone as you age, and the best way to keep them working is through regular and proper sleep.  The more you sleep (and the better), the better you’ll feel … and look.  This means a good night sleep can be responsible for making you feel sexier, which can make you happier and more productive as well. 

Of course you won’t be nearly as healthy or happy if you find your sleep has been interrupted by nasty nighttime critters.  Remember how people used to jokingly warn you to sleep tight, and not to let the bed bugs bite?  If you find that they really are biting, you’ll need to invest in some pesticides so you can spray for bed bugs.  Since bed bugs are persistent little monsters, you may need to regularly wash and dry your bedding on high heat as well as vacuuming (avoiding using bristles, as they can carry bed bugs to unwanted parts of your home), establishing a routine to prevent future infestations.

A lack of good sleep can cause depression.  As stress hormones are released and a cycle of poor and little sleep continues to develop, you’ll find yourself trapped and feeling worse all the time.  You can reduce stress be meditating before bed and by making certain that your pillow and posture in bed are synced and comfortable.  Develop a regular routine, which can include soothing music or reading before bed (avoid looking at the computer or television just before bed, as the light can be stimulating and have the opposite effect).  Taking a warm bath four or five hours before bed raises your body temperature, but as you cool down you will feel more drowsy … just in time for bed.

Getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis can lead to increased health as your immune system is strengthened and improved, clearer thinking, increased energy, and, best of all, an improved sense of well-being.  That in itself is priceless, and will keep you feeling happy and healthy.

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