If you had an extra couple of hours at your disposal, would you opt for a nap or a jog? Don’t feel guilty if you instantly picked the first. According to the latest research, sleep helps your well-being as much as physical exercise. Here’s why.
FEEL GOOD FACTOR
How many times have you woken up after a night’s sleep feeling like you just closed your eyes half an hour ago? Don’t label yourself lazy if your body shows you that it needs more resting time. Doctors suggest that 7 to 9 hours of slumber every day will make you ready to take on the day’s affairs. Hit the bed earlier at night or prioritise things for the morning. Prepare lunches, choose and hang out clothes you want to wear in the morning before you hit the pillow or opt for less TV time to save an extra hour every evening.
WATCH YOUR PHYSIQUE
People who stay up late tend to indulge in a few extra calories before they snooze off; be it fast food, chocolate, snacks or savoury leftovers from the fridge. Together with a healthy-eating lifestyle, cutting down on unnecessary food intake will not only help you look good but also rest well. Store some low-calorie nibbles or opt for healthy substitutes like non-fat yogurt or a bowl of cereal as late-night snacks.
ENHANCE YOUR CONCENTRATION
Scientists say that taking a rest helps retain new information and reduces the chances of feeling mentally exhausted. Proper amounts of sleep help generate new ideas, concentrate on challenging tasks ahead and keep you alert; whether you are at work, behind the wheel or going about your daily routine.
OBSERVE YOUR MENTAL WELL-BEING
Being sleep deprived is a common symptom during trying times, however, insomnia or sleep apnoea are the first indications of adverse mental health. Sleep abnormalities should not be ignored, and one should always consult a specialist for illness management. Not getting enough rest might make you feel under the weather, so advise your doctor if you notice any changes in your sleeping habits.
Moderation is key, so don’t expect to sleep all day and feel ready to take the world by storm. What works for others doesn’t necessarily work for you; your body is the first indicator you should listen to, to find your ideal sleeping pattern. Remember – one hour’s sleep before midnight is worth two after, fighting the snooze button every morning will not make you feel better throughout the day.