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The Value of a Good Night's Sleep and a New Goal for April

Six reasons to turn off the TV, shut down the computer and go to bed at a decent hour. Kristen also shares her new goal for April.

There is nothing better than waking up and feeling refreshed after a good night's sleep. Getting enough sleep is definitely something I've struggled with over the last several months.  

In my , I mentioned that I was participating in the EmpowHER BodyMedia Fitness ChallengeI tracked my activity, steps per day, calories burned and my sleeping pattern for 6 weeks straight. In my week 4 update I clued everyone in on just how little sleep I was getting and how it affected my daily productivity.

For the average adult, the recommended amount of sleep per night is 7-9 hours. Sadly, many of us don't get anywhere's near that. Catching up on Reality TV, incessantly check Facebook or "pinning" the latest and greatest in fashion, health or home improvement have become more important to us than getting a night of quality sleep. I know how it is, because I do it too. The whirlwind of social media is oh so addictive.

Here are 6 reasons to turn off the TV, shut down the computer and go to bed at a decent hour. A good night's sleep will:

  1. Improve your memory, giving your brain the chance to embed events from the day into your short-term memory.
  2. Make you more alert and focused, which will improve your concentration and decision-making skills.
  3. Keep you healthy by strengthening your immune system.
  4. Help you lose weight by regulating the hormones that trigger appetite.
  5. Aid in recovery by producing more of the growth hormone which stimulates tissue growth and muscle repair.
  6. Lower your risk of heart disease by keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol levels down.

The good news is that it's never too late to set up good habits. You can improve your quality of sleep by:

  1. Putting yourself on a good sleep schedule. Try to go to bed and then rise at the same time each day.
  2. Having a bedtime ritual. Read a book or take a bath. Anything that will relax you and signal your body to sleep.
  3. Watching what you eat. Don't go to bed hungry; or full either.
  4. Creating a good sleep environment. Your room should be cool, dark and quiet for optimal sleep.

I'll be honest with you. Since the challenge, I have not done much to improve my sleep. I've picked up a few early morning clients which means I am up every morning at 5am.

So my new goal for April is to GET MORE SLEEP.

I'd like to get at least 7 hours a night. Since I'm an early riser, I'll have to be in bed by 10pm on work nights. It won't be easy to turn off the TV and shutdown my computer. But for the sake of my health and well-being I will try my hardest!

How much sleep to you get a night? Do you feel well rested today?

Disclaimer:  Much of what I've reported today is based upon articles I've read on WebMD and on the Mayo Clinic.   I"m not an expert in this subject, nor do I pretend to be.  My intention here is to share the information that motivated me to make sleep new priority.

Stay fit and be healthy, 

Kristen

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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