10 Reasons to get a Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep affects every aspect of our lives.  Our health, memory and even longevity are all dependant on us getting enough restful sleep.  There are so many reasons to get a good night’s sleep but here are my top 10….

  1. Anti-Aging and Good Health – Sleep is the body’s down time, a time for cells to repair.  Insufficient sleep is associated with increased risk of stroke and heart attack.  Sleep between 10pm and midnight is associated with improving longevity and aging.  This is largely to do with hormone activity that is connected with our circadian rhythms (our internal body clock).  Getting good sleep will make you feel healthier and may help you live longer and more healthily.
  2. Improving Immunity – Sleep is believed to boost your immunity as whilst you are sleeping your body produces protein molecules that can strengthen your ability to fight infection.
  3. Improving Memory – During sleep memories are strengthened and skills learned whilst you were awake are “practiced” (it’s a process called consolidation). When we learn something we get better with practice and it seems that performance is improved after allowing the learning to consolidate whilst we are sleeping.  Also, sleep deprivation interferes with our ability to recall simple information, making us feel like we are losing it.  Many of those memory issues and brain fog associated with things like menopause are largely a result of poor sleep.
  4. Creativity and Problem Solving – It is believed that whilst the brain is consolidating memories and learning during sleep, it also reorganises and re-structures memory. This can make us more creative and help solve problems.  That old advice to “sleep on it” really does help.
  5. Improved learning and concentration – there have been lots of studies, particularly with children, showing that sleep improves our ability to concentrate and focus and also improves our learning outcomes. People who sleep adequately get better results in exams for example.
  6. Maintaining a healthy weight – Researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat (56% of their weight loss) than those who were sleep deprived, who lost more muscle mass. Those who had less sleep also felt hungrier.  This is because sleep-deprived people have reduced levels of leptin (the chemical that makes you feel full) and increased levels of ghrelin (the hunger-stimulating hormone).  This explains why we tend to feel more hungry and want to snack more after a poor night’s sleep.
  7. Decision making – Sleeplessness affects reaction time and decision making. We all know how much more difficult it is to think clearly and make a good decision when we are tired.  Did you know that just one night of insufficient sleep can be as detrimental to your driving ability as having an alcoholic drink!
  8. Emotional balance – Lack of sleep can contribute to anxiety, stress, irritability and depression and sufficient sleep can help us stay calm and reasonable.
  9. Stamina – not surprisingly sleep can improve our physical performance and stamina.
  10. Reducing stress – this is a bit of a chicken and egg situation as stress can interfere with sleep. However, finding ways to reduce stress can improve sleep ….. and taking steps to improve sleep can reduce stress levels.  Sleeping well is a win, win!

Little drops of water make a mighty ocean

Today the suwater dropn is shining, yet when I look more closely I can see fine rain.  As with much of life, when you look closely things are not quite as they initially appear….

A few months back someone contacted me concerning a reference I’d made in my newsletter to Edison and the light bulb.  It turns out when you look more closely at this, it too isn’t quite as it seems.  Several people contributed to the process.  An English physician called Sir Humphrey Davy successfully passed an electric current through platinum strips in 1801 but the light lasted only a few minutes. In 1809 Davy created the Arc lamp. In 1840 Warren de la Rue, a British scientist, placed a platinum coil in a vacuum tube and created light that lasted longer. In 1841 Frederick de Moleyns of England was given the first patent for an incandescent lamp, yet it is Joseph Wilson Swan who patented his light bulb in 1878 and Thomas Edison who are generally credited with the invention.  

The reason I mention this is that, like the many drops of water, it often takes a series of events for something really great to happen.  Even though those at the end of the process may get the credit, those earlier steps are often very important. 

So it is with each of us.  Although we may not all be inventors, every day we are involved in a range of activities with a host of different people and every day we have an impact in some way on someone or something.  We can never know exactly what will happen as a result, but each of our actions, thoughts and deeds will make some kind of difference in the world.  Even if we decide to lie in bed all day and do nothing, our absence will have an effect.

Quite a few people I meet at the moment are considering making changes in life such as stopping smoking, losing weight, getting fit, changing jobs.  In each case we might want to wake up and find that a magic wand has just made it happen, but the reality is that it is small steps along the way that will lead to great change.  A healthier lifestyle unfolds one day at a time, a new job is found through a series of actions. 

Sometimes it helps to think ‘just for today I will ……..‘ Then tomorrow you can do it again ‘just for today’.  If you have a bad day and things don’t go so well, that too was ‘just for today’ and tomorrow you can get right back on track. 

We have electric light today because a group of people tried and persevered despite some failures or partial successes.  You too can achieve your goals, you just need to do it one step at a time.


As always, if you would like help in achieving your own goals, just give me a call, I’d be happy to help.