Posts Tagged ‘sleep/rest’

*Portions of this post first appeared here at Attorney@Work.

bed bedroom blanket blur

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

I’ve said it before, sleep is the foundation of health. According to Russell Foster, a circadian neuroscientist at Oxford University, the quantity of your time asleep affects the quality of your time awake. Over a third of our life should be spent sleeping. This can feel like a waste of time, but it’s not! Sleep-deprived people cannot function at their highest ability. Sleep deprivation decreases your ability to remember and process information. A good night’s sleep can give us up to a three-fold advantage in complex problem-solving. Also, cutting sleep short by even an hour or two reduces the effectiveness of your immune system by about 25 percent, leading to more illness and disease. And did you know that lack of sleep increases the release of a hunger hormone that causes cravings for carbohydrates and sugars, making it much more difficult to maintain a healthy weight? Don’t neglect this vital part of your fitness.

For the longest time, I thought something was wrong with me because I always felt so tired during the day. Then I started using my Fitbit to track my sleep. I realized that even when I was in bed for eight hours, I wasn’t getting a full eight hours of sleep. When I first started tracking my sleep, I was getting about six hours each night, on average. Now that I’m tracking it regularly, I make a conscious effort to avoid shortchanging myself on sleep too many nights in a row. I don’t always achieve my eight-hour goal, but when I feel exhausted at the end of the week, I can see how much sleep I didn’t get. And I can try to do better the following week.


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I really like the Eating Well blogs; I always find helpful information there and I almost always agree with the advice. Today is no exception. Brierley Wright has a great article on chronic inflammation, what it is and how to avoid it. All the tips are simple changes to your diet and guidance for an exercise regime. Her ten ways to beat inflammation are:

  1. Increase Omega-3 fatty acids and reduce Omega-6 (i.e. add salmon and olive oil to your diet)
  2. Practice yoga.
  3. Consume soy.
  4. Get a massage.
  5. Limit trans-fats and saturated fats.
  6. Eat green leafy vegetables.
  7. Keep stress at bay.
  8. Sleep at least 6 hours each night.
  9. Exercise often.
  10. Drink green tea.

Read the entire post here.

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We are going on vacation today to next Thursday, so I won’t be around for blogging. I’m not taking my computer and have decided to be (mostly) disconnected during our time away. It’s only sun and fun for me and my family. This time for rest and relaxation will also be a time of rejuvenation. As I’ve said before, it is important for us to remember to find time for downtime. Here’s some of my favorite posts on the benefits of rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation:

Beach with palm treesThe Importance of Quieting Your Mind

Remember to Rest

The Importance of Sleep

Remember the Importance of Rest

Stillness is Important to Good Health

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Remember to Rest

I posted about the importance of rest a couple of years ago, but it is important enough to repeat it. Since the beginning of time (according to the Bible), rest has always been important: “… and on the seventh day, God rested.” Whether or not you normally take inspiration from the Bible or God is not important. What’s important is that you, too, remember to rest.

Rest image

Rest = Rejuvenation

Rest is important. It’s not something that you should try to do if you can find the time. We all live hectic lives. So hectic that it is imperative that we find the time to rest. Without rest we cannot rejuvenate. Without rejuvenation, we cannot be our best, not to ourselves or to anyone else.

Remember to take at least one day a week where you rest, relax, and do something you enjoy. Your life and your health will be much better for it, even if you are getting less accomplished. Taking the time to rest is an accomplishment in itself!

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As mentioned in previous parts, stress managment is critical to good health. We can’t avoid stress completely, but we can manage and reduce it. Here’s another idea:

Relax with Massage. Massages release toxins that build up in muscles and thus have a calming effect on the body. They also help relax the mind with the quiet time that goes along with the massage. Another benefit is the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller. Try a trip to the spa or ask your spouse or loved one for a massage.

Look for the final stress reduction tip tomorrow.

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Now seems like a good time to discuss the importance of sleep. Why now? Well, I have an 12 week old daughter who thinks that naps are unnecessary. She has since she was a week old. She slept like a champ in the hospital, but as soon as we got home, no more naps. And now she would rather eat than sleep – including all night. So we are awake every 2 hours so she can eat for half an hour.

Add to that my two dogs who are like needy toddlers whose world has been rocked by the addition of baby to our family.

And to top it all off, I’ve decided to take the CT bar exam in February (yes, I am insane) so I am now studying for that.

As my husband reminded me: sleep deprivation is an effective form of torture!

So what’s so bad about sleep deprivation? Well, according to the really smart folks at Harvard, a lot: Importance of Sleep: Six Reasons Not to Scrimp on Sleep

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