Mend the Broken Rest Cycle

1025081504aI remember when I was a child, pleading with mom or dad to let me stay up “late”.  On that rare occasion when I was allowed extra time to play or watch the tube, it was like I’d hit the jack pot!

What I discovered after leaving home was that a routine bed time was optional.  Who knew?  This attitude of “who needs sleep when there is fun to be had,” continued into my 30’s and 40’s.

Many of us have, in fact, perfected ways of distracting ourselves from getting enough rest at night.  Our in-home entertainment options have increased exponentially over the past decade with cable programs, computer games, text and email, and games on our handheld devices.  We go to bed only when our options become less interesting.  Establishing a routine for when to climb into bed does not even show up on our radar.

What many of us fail to realize is that getting less sleep over time can result in a number of surprising outcomes, none of which are positive.

A few of these possible outcomes include:

1)  Accidents – in the home, at work or while driving, drowsiness slows reaction times and mental capacity.  Operating our bodies under these conditions can lead to a simple mistake being made that can result in a life-altering accident.

2)  Health Problems – Sleep deprivation can put us at risk for things like heart disease, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes.  When our solution for lack of energy during the day is additional consumption of sugar and caffeine, our health problems are compounded.

3)  Weight gain – In a study conducted  by the University of Colorado Boulder, in March 2013, getting less sleep leads to weight gain.  Having less energy during the day tricks our little brains into thinking food will solve the problem.

For years I would stay up too late, convincing myself I would simply deal with the fallout of being too tired during the course of the next day.  Maybe I would get up a few minutes later, or take an extra nap.  If I was really dragging, I was not above purchasing an energy drink to make it through.

But over the years I have learned the truth about bed time.  Living in a healthy manner compels us to impose upon ourselves the discipline our parents once did.  Drat!  It’s true.  We must on a regular basis deny ourselves that latest t.v. episode, tweeting out or gaming on our handheld device, so that during the course of the next day we can function at full capacity.

If you’ve been suffering from a lack of energy, mend your broken rest cycle.  Establish a regular bed time, and get the rest you need.

Those around you need and deserve the best you have to offer.

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Originally posted on http://SimpleLifeReboot.com

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