November 18, 2010

The Secret to Keeping Your Youthful Good Looks.......?


Salvador Dali's "Sleep".
 Sleep! A healthy dose of sleep (between 7-8 hours per night) will not only make you more good lookin', smarter, and more popular, it is also the most important of all healthy behaviours (even eating well and exercising)!

Are you laughing yet? Most do when I mention 7-8 hours per night.  On average, most people struggle with getting 6 or less. Some complain of waking up around 3 and not being able to get back to it. Others stay up most of the night thinking about (insert your worries, deadlines, to do lists here). It is a fact, however, that without a deep, high quality sleep, your body may not be able to mend itself as well after exercise or process all those veggies you eat effectively.  In fact, a lack of sleep has been noted as a potential correlate (meaning it isn't directly related, but a possible cause of) with overweight/obesity. It may be that if you are looking to drop a few, you focus on getting a good night's sleep.

How do you get a good night's sleep? That's the million (or in today's economy...billion) dollar question.  Your first step is to get rid of that TV in your bedroom. Your bedroom should be for two things...one's sleep..the other is...you know....wink, wink...nudge, nudge.....don't make me say it aloud (for my next post I'll write on North America's sheepishness around ...you know). If you are in the habit of watching TV before bed, it is important to note that it takes approximately 30 minutes for your brain to "quieten" (scientific term) down for sleep. This also includes surfing the net, passionately pumping out your next blog post or finding more friends on Facebook.

The next step would include investing in a good mattress, pillow, and bedding set coupled with creating a cool and dark sleeping environment. Research has also suggested that a light/ small carbohydrate snack 30-60 minutes before bed - like a small bowl of cereal - may help to induce sleep. .....And don't be worrying about the irritating urban myth (made popular by a certain talk show host) related to eating after 8pm. You will not gain wait if you eat after 8pm. However, if you choose to eat after midnight or get wet...you may turn into a Gremlin (note my brilliant 80's pop culture reference).

This pic was taken during a time
in my life when I suffered from
chronic sleeplessness. Not pretty.
How does a good night of sleep make you look even more beautiful than you are now? Have you seen yourself in the mirror after a sleepless night? ....need I say more? You are also better to get along with at work (hence the popularity) and your enhanced alertness guarantees to make you at least act smarter. A chronic lack of sleep can kick your immune system function to the curb and does nothing to help your stress level.  As a result, you may pick up every cold going around the office or suffer from chronic fatigue or just prolonged feelings of grossness (I believe that is a medical term). 

So if you want to be the best you can be, irritate those around with your consistent perkiness, and benefit from your healthy eating choices and daily physical exercise routine....get some sleep!

That's all.
K

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