Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Value of a Good Night's Sleep

Mindy here.

Sleep. It's something we all need. When we don't get enough, we tend to be cranky and less productive. Yet in today's hurry-hurry world, it's one of those things that tends to get shoved to the back burner. It never makes our to-do lists. Instead, we go and go and go until we can't go no more. Then, after a few short hours, we're off and running once again. Think about it. Would you head off on a long road trip with a partially-charged cell phone battery (pretend you don't have a car charger)?

Have you ever stopped to think about how important a good night's rest is to your well-being? Studies show that people who get less than six or seven hours of sleep each night are at increased risk for developing diseases. But a full eight hours can add years to your life.

Did you know sleep:
  • Keeps Your Heart Healthy
  • May Prevent Cancer
  • Reduces Stress
  • Reduces Inflammation
  • Makes You More Alert
  • Bolsters Your Memory
  • May Help You Lose Weight
  • Reduces Your Risk for Depression
  • Helps the Body Make Repairs
In addition, it's also shown that naps make you smarter. Napping during the day is not only an effective and refreshing alternative to caffeine, it can also protect your health and make you more productive. A study of 24,000 Greek adults showed that people who napped several times a week had a lower risk for dying from heart disease. People who nap at work have much lower levels of stress. Napping also improves memory, cognitive function and mood.

So when you're planning your day, be sure to include an ample amount of rest. You'll be glad you did.

Happy Tuesday, y'all. And don't forget to join me on my personal blog, Divine Imagination. This week's author interview is with Karen Witemeyer. You could win her latest release, Head in the Clouds.


  1. Mindy,
    This was such an appropriate post for me. I have no problem falling asleep but I wake up every night between 2-3AM (sometimes by 1AM) and that's it - I'm up for the rest of the night. I've tried everything under the sun to help me stay asleep - but nothing works.

  2. Mindy,
    I'm all about the sleep! I gotta have it. In bed by 10-up at 5
    11=up at 6
    12=up at 7

    And ti goes on and on. I'm really working on 8 hours of sleep a night.

  3. Edwina, I understand your frustration. I go through periods where I crash as soon as I hit the pillow and am out until the alarm goes off. Other times, I'm like you. In bed by 10/10:30, asleep right away,and then BANG! At 2:30 I'm wide awake. Sometimes I'll take some melatonin to help me get back to sleep, but I usually just lay there, desperately wanting to go back to sleep. That usually happens about an hour before the alarm goes off. Sigh.
    I wish I knew what made the difference. Stress, hormones, who knows. However, I have learned the value of a 10 minute power nap.

  4. Mindy, thanks for the reminder. I struggle getting enough sleep. Even when I get 6-8 hours I'm often still tired. According to my doc, some people just require a little more than others. Unfortunately, I struggle making sure I get 6-8 hours in. On the weekends I usually crash plus take naps to catch up. Most times that helps.

  5. Oh, talk about conviction! I'm terrible about this. I go to bed at 1 or 2 each night. Then have to get up at 7 with kids. I just have a hard time making myself go to bed. That's my down time. Time to relax and watch the shows I've recorded on TV. Time to read.

    I do sometimes take a power nap. I had one today. I got really sleepy after a late lunch. Thankfully, my phone alarm was set to remind me to pick up the kids, so it woke me. :) I'm still going strong now.

  6. Dianna, at least you're conscientious of the sleep your body requires. Good girl.

  7. Missy, Missy, Missy...GO TO BED!! :-)

  8. I tend to be a night owl. But I'm working on making 11p.m. a bedtime. It's hard after years of teens and writing late at night. It seems that's when my creativity flows. I feel the world at peace around me and my zone engages. The problem comes in the early morning needs for odd scheduled things like radio, tv interviews and leading weekly Weight Watcher meetings. I'm finding myself scheduled for more and more in the wee early morning hours. It's becoming a pattern just as my teens and I created the years of late night talks. Now they're all grown and gone and my new life emerges. So different. So much change. I never thought it would change my sleep cycles, but that's exactly what's happening.