Time to Snooze
This month’s Challenge is to help you increase your night’s sleep and get some extra rest.
Challenge: *Get 15-30 extra minutes of sleep per night
*Avoid all media 30 minutes before bed.
Your give-away this month is 2 bags of Camomile Tea, best enjoyed 30-45 minutes before bed. Chamomile is an herb that has been utilized for centuries, dating back to ancient Egypt, to treat a number of issues. Today, it is widely used for sleeping. Once consumed, the apigenin goes to work. It’s a phenolic flavonoid that is linked with sleep and tranquility enhancing effects. The best part about it is that it does not contain caffeine! Back in 2009, there was a study funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine that reviewed the effectiveness of chamomile tea in patients who were diagnosed with anxiety. Long story short, this herb was found to reduce stress and anxiety. But what about sleep? Well, if you’re anxious or stress do you think you’re going to sleep well? Probably not! This is why it’s recommended that you drink a glass of this tea before bedtime to help relax your body.
If you are looking for a simple way to prepare your tea, here it is.
- Place your tea bag or infuser in the bottom of your favorite mug
- Pour boiling water over it
- Let steep for at least 3 minutes
- Add any flavoring you want such as honey or lemon and drink up!
The longer you allow it to steep, the richer and stronger the flavor. Don’t let it steep for any more than 10 minutes.
- “When you lie down, you will not be afraid, when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” (Proverbs 3:24)
- “I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the LORD was watching over me.” (Psalm 3:5)
- “Return to your rest, my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.” (Psalm 116:7 NIV)
10 Benefits of a Good Night’s Sleep
The role of sleep on your overall health and well-being is becoming better understood from a scientific standpoint. There are many proven health benefits of getting adequate sleep.
Most adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per day. Getting less than 6 to 7 hours of sleep for just one night can have an effect on you the next day. And chronically missing out on sleep increases the risk of disease. All the more reason to get some sleep, right? Here are 10 reasons why you should call it an early night.
1 – Sleep Keeps Your Heart Healthy. During sleep, your body releases hormones that keep your heart and blood vessels healthy. Lack of sleep has been associated with worsening blood pressure and heart function. This can be a problem if you already have a heart condition, and, over time, it, can lead to heart disease. Your heart will be healthier if you get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night.
2 – Sleep May Help Regulate Blood Sugar. Sleep helps regulate your body’s metabolism. And sleep deprivation can have a number of health effects related to your metabolism. One of these is a fluctuation of your glucose (sugar) levels. This can be a problem for people who have diabetes, and it can also increase the risk of developing diabetes.
3 – Sleep Reduces Stress. Sleep helps your mind and body relax and recover from your day. When you are deprived of sleep, your body releases stress hormones. Stress can cause you to react in ways that aren’t productive—sometimes making rash decisions or acting out of fear. Without a good night’s sleep, you can end up feeling anxious until you finally get some much-needed rest. Learn relaxation techniques to fall asleep faster so you can get the sleep your body needs.
4 – Sleep Reduces Inflammation. Sleep regulates your immune system. When you don’t get enough sleep, inflammation can result. You won’t usually notice excess inflammation, but it can have an effect on your body. Chronic inflammation damages the body and increases the risk of many health conditions, including ulcers, dementia, heart disease, and more.
5 – Sleep Makes You More Alert. A good night’s sleep makes you feel energized and alert the next day. This will help you focus, get things done, and be able to socialize and enjoy recreation and hobbies. Energy and alertness also help you exercise, which is important for your overall health. Being engaged and active throughout your day feels great—and all that activity from your day also increases your chances for another good night’s sleep.
6 – Sleep Improves Your Memory. Researchers have found that sleep plays an important role in a process called memory consolidation. During sleep, your body may be resting, but your brain is busy processing your day, making connections between events, sensory input, feelings, and memories. Deep sleep is a very important time for your brain to make memories and links, and getting more quality sleep will help you remember things better in the long run.
7 – Sleep May Help You Lose Weight. Researchers have found that people who sleep fewer hours per night are more likely to be overweight or obese. It is thought that a lack of sleep impacts the balance of hormones in the body that affect appetite. The hormones ghrelin and leptin, which regulate appetite, have been found to be disrupted by lack of sleep. If you want to maintain or lose weight, don’t forget that getting adequate sleep on a regular basis is a huge part of the equation.
8 – Sleep Helps Your Balance. Sleep helps you maintain optimal physical abilities. Studies show that sleep deprivation leads to impaired short-term postural stability. This can lead to increased injuries and falls. Even if it’s mild, postural instability can affect your daytime physical performance during exercise and sports.
9 – Sleep Helps Executive Function. Executive function involves complex thinking, such as the ability to problem-solve, plan, and make decisions. Along with alertness and memory, executive function helps you with work, school, social interactions, and life in general. One night of sleep deprivation can impair executive function the next day.
10 – Sleep Helps the Body Repair Itself. Sleep is a time for you to relax, but it’s also a time during which the body is hard at work repairing damage caused by stress, ultraviolet rays, and other harmful exposure. Your cells produce certain proteins while you are sleeping. These protein molecules form the building blocks for cells, allowing them to repair the damage of the day so you can stay healthy.
“I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD only, makest me dwell in safety.”
Psalm 4:8, KJV