Begin with Sleep

March 10th to 16th is also marked as the Sleep Awareness Week. It is organized by the National Sleep Foundation annually.

Getting enough of sleep and following sleep schedule is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle. It facilitates cell regeneration, healing processes, and metabolism. If an optimal sleeping schedule is not followed, it can cause or contribute to weakening of the immune system, depression, and weight problems.

It is recommended for adults to receive from 7 to 9 hours of sleep daily, and to go to bed before midnight. It is also important to sleep in complete darkness to facilitate the generation of the melatonin hormone.

Here are some interesting facts about sleep according to National Sleep Foundation:

You Can Jolt Yourself Awake

It’s not unusual to feel like you’re physically falling while you’re falling asleep. This feeling can trigger your limbs to jolt yourself awake. Your body is typically temporarily paralyzed while you’re sleeping, but the paralysis hasn’t happened yet during the earliest, lightest sleep stage, so you might experience what is known as a hypnagogic.

Sleep is As Important as Diet and Exercise

You probably already fit in 30 minutes of exercise on most days and stock your kitchen with nutritious eats, but don’t forget to add “make time for zzz’s” to your stay-healthy list. It’s just as critical, because sleep deprivation has been linked to heart disease, depression, and diabetes. While you sleep, your body releases growth hormones that work to rebuild muscles and joints. The more sleep you get, the better equipped your body will be to repair itself.

You Have Dreams Even If You Don’t Remember Them

The average person has four to six dreams a night, but most people can’t recall up to 99 percent of them. Try keeping a dream journal next to your bed and jotting down anything that you remember as soon as you wake up.

You Can Sleep Your Way Skinny

Getting your beauty sleep can help regulate hormones that control appetite, so you’ll eat fewer calories overall when you snooze for seven to nine hours per night, compared with when you’re underslept. Specifically, lack of sleep can decrease ghrelin, a hormone that helps you feel satiated, and increase the hunger hormone leptin. Moreover, not sleeping enough makes you more likely to reach for unhealthy foods: Cravings for high-calorie, fatty foods surge by 45 percent when you’re sleep-deprived.

Certain foods contain an amino acid called tryptophan more available to the brain , which is why carbohydrate-heavy meals  can make you drowsy.

Newborns Sleep an Average of 14 to 17 Hours a Day

Babies have a lot of growing to do, so they need a lot more sleep than adults. The weird thing is that, unlike adults, if your baby is sleep-deprived he or will sleep less, not more!

Snoozing Can Improve Your Memory

Feeling more forgetful? Try clocking more time in the sack. In fact, sleep-deprived people score lower on tests of working memory (a.k.a. short-term memory) than those who have had a good night’s rest. Cerebral spinal fluid is pumped more quickly throughout the brain while you sleep. It acts like a dishwasher, whisking away waste products that brain cells make. So you wake up with, quite literally, a clean slate.

Athletes Need More Sleep

How much sleep that you need, exactly, depends on your genes. Most adults need about seven to nine hours a night, but athletes may improve their performance by sleeping up to 10 hours per night, because all of that physical activity means that their bodies require more sleep to repair muscles and restore energy.

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