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The Importance of Sleep

The Importance of Sleep

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                    The Importance of Sleep

Sleep is so important to the human body! When we sleep serotonin, a vital neurotransmitter, re-fuels and recharges the brain. Serotonin is “gas” for the brain. It helps humans to stay happy and healthy, more alert and focused, increased productivity and memory as well as better reaction time and judgment. All of these things!

        The Lack of Sleep

With a lack of sleep, our brains do not function at full capacity. Something has to suffer. In fact people with less serotonin suffer from anxiety, moodiness, a lack of judgement, fatigue, cognitive impairment, trouble falling asleep and depressive tendencies.

How Much Sleep?

Experts say that human adults should get 7 to 8 hours of sleep daily. The human body is designed to shut-down and recover daily. In the deep REM sleep is when the serotonin cleans up the brain. Some experts recommend even more than 8 hours per night. Not everyone sleeps the same way, so people are better off to sleep 4-5 hours during the night and then take a 2-3 hour nap mid-day.

    Sleep and Stress

Sleep is one of the easiest and best ways to reduce stress in life. By simply getting a regular and healthy amount of sleep on a regular basis, one can prevent feeling stressed as well as feel better after a more stressful day or event.

So how much sleep do you got? 

Top 10 Top 10s

10 Ways To Make Change Less Scary and More Possible Found on dumblittleman.com

Top 10 Reasons to Exercise Regularly (Besides Losing Weight) Found on lifehacker.com

10 Remarkable Ways Meditation Helps Your Mind Found on spring.org.uk

10 wise choices to skyrocket your happiness Found on thechangeblog.com

10 Magical Effects Music Has On the Mind Found on spring.org.uk

10 tens you can do to become happier, scientifically proven Found on lifehacker.com

10 Ways to reduce stress at work  Found on dumblittleman.com

10 Ways To Be Happier at Work Found on spring.org.uk

Sleep Deprivation: The 10 Most Profound Psychological Effects Found on spring.org.uk

10 one-minute time hacks that will make you more productive Found on lifehack.org

Bonus:

10 Ways Journaling Can Improve Your Life Found on lifehack.org

Top 10 Ways to Trick Your Brain Into Doing What You Want  Found on lifehacker.com

10 Uncommon, Alternative Relaxation Techniques to Reduce Stress by Alex Dolin  Found on noomii.com

Deep breathing and muscle relaxation

Last week, I offered a simple exercise to help you begin thinking about being mindful. 
I challenged you to be fully present in the here-and-now both at work and at home. This exercise helps people to de-stress and be more productive and pleasant to be around bot hat work and at home. 
Today I want to offer some more mindfulness exercises. 
 The first is called deep breathing or belly breathing. 
 First get comfortable. Second take a lot deep breathe in, count to 5 or 6 in your head as the oxygen fills not just your lungs but your entire chest/stomach area should stick out. Next just as with the in, the out should take at least 5 or 6 seconds and your whole belly will again move in as the oxygen is released from your body. Do this 3 to 6 times consecutively. Scientifically this is proven to lower blood pressure, get more oxygen in the brain, improve thinking and fight anxiety. Try this!
With more oxygen flowing through your body, you may begin to feel a little sleepy! That is okay, once you get moving again, you will be energized and more productive and de-stressed.
If you like that, you will also really enjoy this next technique called progressive relaxation. Several clients comment on how useful this is!
First, while continuing the mindful belly breathing, get comfortable in your chair. You can do this in your bed or on a coach as well! Close your eyes and imagine that you are on a cloud, there is nothing else to think about or any worries. Focus on your feet. Tense up your feet and hold the tension for five seconds. Count with me: “1,2,3,4,5.” Now release. Your feet are heavy and tired. Relax. Now focus all your thoughts on your legs. Tense up your leg muscles 1,2,3,4,5, now release! Your legs are heavy. You are on a cloud. There are no worries. You are feeling tired. Now focus on your thighs. (Do the same thing with thighs then again with chest, arms, shoulders, neck  and then head/face).  
Many clients use this technique just before going to bed. This helps them to stop and relax and fall asleep instead of worrying about everything and anything else. This is mindfulness for the body. 
Next week I will offer even another technique that is useful in mindfulness. 

Two Important reasons for rest

I have mentioned several times the importance of resting for self-care and living to our full potential. CEOs, caretakers, pastors and workaholics are dead set in their work ethic. They want to be productive and successful. It is wonderful to be living with such high goals and expectations.  Although, this always-on-the-go lifestyle has it’s downfalls too. We were not created to work this way. The Bible offers a lot of examples and principles for a healthy lifestyle.

The truth is that the Bible offers a picture of balance. Rest is important is a principle depicted by even God the Father, who rested on the seventh day after creating the universe. Jesus followed suit on many occasions He “went away” from everyone to be alone with God the Father to fast, rest and pray. While I could continue on in the theological evidence, I want to also mention that more and more studies are providing the same information that I am arguing from a Biblical perspective. On Wednesday, I posted my weekly links post. This theme for these links is napping. Napping helps people to be well-rested and in turn, more productive. Even Google is embracing the importance of well-rested employees, as they provide rest pods for their workers.

Through the Bible there is a theme centering around boundaries and balance. We can be the most productive and the most pleasant when we have proper boundaries in our lives. Work is definitely a high priority and an important one. At times, it can be difficult to put down the phone and spend time with kids. Important meetings and business deals need to get down, yes. But there are other priorities that need to be balanced as well. How are you doing socially? emotionally? physically? sexually? close relationships?

Your job will not satisfy all of your needs.

This why we need rest and we need balance.
I challenge you to rest this week. Even if it is only marked out for one hour every day this week or blocked out for a Friday or Saturday evening. During this time, enjoy God and enjoy other people. Do not entertain thoughts about your job. Also take care of yourself. Exercise or enjoy a hobby. Get ready for the next storm. Life does not stop, but as a human you should stop and rest.

Napping on the Job

This week’s link encourage the use of naps in your life:

5 Reasons Why You Should Take a Nap Every Day by Michael Hyatt

‘Nap rooms’ encourage sleeping on the job to boost productivity by Today.com