Are you getting adequate sleep and rest?
Sleep and rest:
If you have a good night’s sleep and satisfying rest, you are healthier. In the hierarchy of our most basic needs, adequate sleep and rest are near the top, second only to proper breathing. If you don’t have enough sleep at night and if you go-go-go during the day without taking time for relaxation between bursts of activity, you will eventually burn out.
Sleep and rest provide the body time to restore itself after the day’s activities, to process and assimilate nutrients, to eliminate waste, and to fortify the body, mind, and spirit. It is like giving your car a rest, letting the engine cool after a very long trip. To keep your body’s engine-your heart and other vital organs-running at peak efficiency, sufficient sleep and quality rest are vital.
Fresh air and exercise:
We all know that exercise is important, but not everyone understands why. Exercise increases the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the cells and assists in the elimination of cellular waste. Gentle, moderate exercise (e.g., walking, yoga or tai chi) improves metabolism, thereby benefiting every cell, organ, and system in the body. It’s that simple. You don’t have to become an Olympic champion or marathon runner. Simple, moderate daily exercise is best. Benefits of daily exercise include better digestion and sleep, enhanced moods, weight loss, and toning of the muscles.
Fresh air can be found in the great outdoors. Even if you have only five minutes, take a walk outside, breathe deeply, and enjoy the sunshine. By doing that, you’ll be replenishing your oxygen supply and at the same time moving those muscles.
What changes could you make this week to improve the quality of your sleep at night and the pace of your waking hours? For the next seven days, apply the following and then note the difference in your energy levels.
- Go to bed thirty minutes earlier than usual.
- Plan a 15-minute “time-out” for yourself each day.
- If you sit in front of a computer all day, set a timer for a 5-10 minute break every two hours; you’ll be refreshed with a walk around the building where you work, stretch or simply sit quietly, close your eyes, and mentally slow down.
- At the end of the day, turn off the TV- read relaxing material or listen to gentle music.
- Clear your mind before sleep. Make a list of incomplete tasks; this takes them out of your mind and onto your “to do” list for the next day.
- If you are hungry at bedtime, drink water or eat celery; the nutrients in celery help you relax.
- If you don’t have a regular exercise routine, start by doing 5-10 minutes of focused movement each day, then slowly increase to 20-30 minutes. Start by taking short, quick walks, focusing on your breathing; this alone can do wonders.