We’ve all learned that getting a good night’s sleep is good for us, but why is it so important, and why would you count it as self-care?
When you think about self-care, you probably think about getting the right exercise, treating yourself to a tasty snack, or having an indulgent spa-like bath filled with rose petals and candlelight.
Of course, these things are all great for us, but one thing that a lot of us fail to focus on is the importance of treating ourselves to a good, solid eight hours.
In our fast-paced world, we can often think we have no time for sleep, we’ve got to be out making the most of life and achieving goals constantly! Ever heard of the old phrase, ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead’?
Well, without a good sleep pattern, this could be sooner than you’d hope…
Why Is Sleep So Important?
Sleep is essential to your physical health and wellbeing, not only because it helps you feel refreshed and ready to take on the day ahead, but also because it plays a vital role in keeping your body healthy. Let’s break the role of sleep down further:
Your body needs sleep to keep its natural defenses at their best. When you’re asleep, your immune cells are busy repairing themselves after a long hard day of fighting off infections and other illnesses.
With adequate sleep, you are giving your immune system the time it needs to recuperate so that it can keep you from getting sick.
Your body uses energy while you sleep – more specifically, your fat stores use energy to produce heat. During sleep, your body temperature drops by around 1 degree Celsius, helping to cool your internal organs and muscles.
This process also creates growth hormones and cortisol, which help you burn calories during the day.
A lack of sleep has been linked to high blood pressure, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. It’s thought that poor sleep patterns may increase the risk of developing conditions such as coronary artery disease, hypertension, and stroke.
A lack of sleep means that your body doesn’t release enough insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels, so if there isn’t enough insulin circulating through your bloodstream, then your blood glucose levels rise.
The higher they get, the harder it is to lose weight.
It’s well known that sleep deprivation impairs memory and learning ability. But did you know that it can actually affect how you learn? If you want to improve your memory, make sure you get plenty of shut-eye!
Sleep- The Most Important Element Of Self-Care
Wanting to improve your overall quality of life, your concentration, and your general productivity? Well, who doesn’t?
Sleep is essential to not only your clarity and your alertness, but also your mental health, creativity, and motivation. You need sleep to function properly, and if you don’t get enough, you won’t perform as well at work or school.
Ever look in the mirror after a bad night’s sleep? Having poor sleep quality can have a huge impact on your health, and this can show itself in very visible ways such as dark circles around your eyes, puffy skin, increased acne, and faster signs of aging.
Whether or not you care about the outward appearance, these are tell-tale signs that your body is not getting the restorative sleep it needs to perform at its best.
From eating healthy to exercising regularly, self-care is something we should all be doing. So why does sleep fall under the category of self-care? Because it is an important part of our daily lives, and because it affects our physical and emotional health.
Make yourself a priority and try getting a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep a night so that you can show up as your best self for those around you during the day.
How To Get More Quality Of Sleep
Do you find yourself getting an eight-hour sleep and still wake up feeling groggy, tired, and feeling sleep-deprived?
It’s not just the amount of time we spend asleep that matters, it’s also the quality. In fact, just 4 hours of high-quality sleep is actually better for you than 8-9 hours of tossing and turning, so make having quality rest your priority if you want to improve your overall health and wellbeing.
If you really want to give yourself the chance to experience the benefits of sleeping properly, here are some tips to consider for a more restorative sleep:
Follow a consistent routine: We are creatures of habit, and our bodies love a good routine.
By making sleep a priority in your life and sticking to a consistent sleep schedule that suits your life, you will quickly find that your body naturally starts winding down at the same time every night.
Create a calm environment: Having a peaceful and serene room with neutral colors and décor can help you to drift off easier come bedtime. Think about adding some ambient lighting in your room that will help you get in the mood for sleep as you begin to wind down.
Try a gentle stretching routine: Stretching before bed helps to relax muscles and prepare them for deep relaxation. It also stimulates blood flow throughout the body to help promote a relaxed state.
Get rid of electronics: The blue light emitted by smartphones, tablets, laptops, and TVs can keep you awake longer than you would expect. Buy yourself an alarm clock that isn’t your cell phone so that you are less tempted to look at screens before you drift off.
Avoid caffeine: If you struggle to sleep, you may want to think about limiting your caffeine intake during the day and see whether this helps you get a more restful night.
Invest in good sleep hygiene: Fresh sheets, a higher quality duvet cover, and good quality pillows can make a big difference to your night’s sleep. Try keeping your room aerated during the day and change your sheets often to promote a night of better sleep.
Get out of your own head: If you find yourself tossing and turning, ruminating about the day or past mistakes, try a quiet podcast or audiobook to listen to as you drift off. Put this on a timer so that it doesn’t wake you up later in the night.
It can be a great way to distract from your own whirlwind of thoughts when you are trying to shut your eyes.
Sleep is probably the best way to promote self-care and wellbeing in your life. By making good sleep a priority in your life, you will find endless benefits to every aspect of your life, including your mood, your interactions with others, and your health.
We hope these tips have helped make it easier for you to make sleep a priority in your self-care practices!