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I’ve been realizing lately that one of the best things I can do to improve my health is something that is completely natural, totally free, and requires no effort whatsoever:
It’s Sleep! Plain, simple sleep. We all do it, and we all need it, but how many of us actually get a full, restful night of sleep on a consistent basis?
Sleep Always Helps
Sleep is the body’s natural way of restoring itself after a day full of activity. And the rest we get during sleep is something that benefits literally every part of the body. People love to talk about miracle foods and “super” foods that are supposed to be the key to good health, but when you think about it, the one thing that consistently helps every part of the body is sleep. Take any ailment or health problem you might have, whether it’s a cold or a headache or anything else. Eating a certain food might help. Or it might not. Using an herbal remedy or supplement might help. Or it might not.
Sleeping, though, is something that always helps.
The Health Benefits of Sleep
Sleep is the body’s time to focus on rest and repair. The time we spend sleeping helps all of the body’s systems to perform at their peak. And if you think of the body in a holistic sense with all of the organs and systems working together in an interconnected way, getting enough sleep can help the entire body to function better.
Here are just a few of the ways that getting a good night of sleep can help our bodies to be healthier:
- Supports a healthy immune system
- Helps to speed healing after illness or injury
- Increases energy levels
- Helps you look more rested (aka “beauty sleep”)
- Supports memory and brain function
- Helps with hormonal balance
- Helps to reduce stress
- Supports a healthy metabolism
- Helps the body to detoxify
- Supports healthy function of all of the body’s systems (digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular, etc.)
The benefits of sleep are endless, and after a busy day full of activities, sleep is an essential time for our bodies to be able to take a break and focus on cleansing and repair.
Do I Have to Go To Bed Yet?
Even though sleeping is one of the easiest and most effective ways to restore the health of the body, it usually ends up being the thing I think about the least. I know how good sleep is for me, and I know how much worse I feel when I’m not getting enough sleep, but sometimes I get so distracted by other things that sleep ends up falling to the wayside.
I find myself becoming like a toddler at bedtime, coming up with every possible excuse not to go to bed quite yet. In the mornings, I crave sleep more than anything else and it’s a major struggle for me to get out of bed, but at nighttime, I can always think of something else I need or want to do.
I love to read, and, and much as I love it, it’s a problem when it comes to bedtime because I end up staying awake much later than I should turning the pages and reading “just one more” chapter.
And then there’s Pinterest. Wonderful, evil Pinterest, keeping me up far, far past my bedtime while I scroll through page after page of pretty pictures and incredible DIY ideas that I have no energy to try myself because I haven’t been going to bed early enough to get a full and restful night of sleep.
And on more than one occasion I’ve even found myself staying up much later than I should reading something about the benefits of sleep or about how to get a better night of sleep. And then I realize how ridiculous it is that it’s almost midnight, and I’m sitting at my computer reading an article about sleep rather than turning off the lights and actually getting some sleep myself!
The 30-Day Sleep Challenge
For the next 30 days, I am challenging myself to get to bed early enough to get as close to 8 hours of sleep as I can. Maybe I’ll even give myself a prize if I successfully go to bed early every night for 30 days straight 🙂 Although, feeling well rested is quite a nice prize in and of itself I suppose.
I’ll make exceptions if something unexpected comes up to keep me from going to bed, but my own reading/writing/browsing the Internet doesn’t count. Facebook doesn’t count. Reading doesn’t count. And Pinterest definitely doesn’t count. (Pinterest really should be blocked on my computer anytime after 10:00 at night.)
That being said, it’s 10:45 right now, and it’s time for me to shut down the computer, get snuggy under my covers, and focus on getting a full, restful night of sleep!
This post in linked to: Sunday School at Butter Believer, Natural Living Monday at Natural Living Mamma, Clever Chicks Blog Hop at The Chicken Chick, Family Table Tuesday at The Polivka Family, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable, Party Wave Wednesday at Holistic Squid, Natural Living Link-Up at Jill’s Home Remedies, and Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade.
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The information in this post is not to be taken as medical advice and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease.