Sleeping well and getting enough rest will do more wonders for your health, wellbeing and vitality than you think. It is during sleep that our bodies repair, recover and rejuvenate.

When you think about it, we put our bodies and mind through a lot every day. Even if you are not physically active, the amount of information and environmental stimulation that your mind has to process in a day is staggering. Most sleep issues are related to mental or emotional issues and are best relieved with physical activity.

Many studies have been done on the effects of sleep deprivation on performance, health and safety. Sleep deprivation can affect the ability to concentrate, memory, dexterity, reflexes and response time. Treatment for conditions related to poor sleep like sleep apnea, insomnia, depression and anxiety have increased in recent years.

When it comes to sleep, quality is as important as quantity. Good quality rest is achieved during the deep sleep cycle also known as the REM cycle. Your brain cycles from sleep to deep sleep throughout the night. Each cycle takes about 90 minutes to complete. It is during the delta wave cycle that Growth Hormone is produced, which activates the repair process and fat burning.

Stress is a major factor in sleep deprivation. It prevents the mind from cycling down. For these people, sleep happens because of exhaustion. Since the mind is actively trying to solve a problem, it prevents the deep, restful cycle of sleep and leads to sleep deprivation.

Sleep deprivation causes stress on the Adrenal glands and leads to Adrenal fatigue. The Adrenal glands release hormones that put the body into alert or defense and cause weight gain and sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is of special concern because of its effect on the heart.

Sleeping pills and tranquilizers are often prescribed to address these issues and they are effective in getting the patient to sleep but do nothing to encourage the deep sleep. They cause a condition known as somnolence, which is sort of artificial sleep. Some people think that watching television or listening to music is effective in getting to sleep. You are trying to train the brain to ignore environmental stimuli, something that it is just not wired to do. This is not an advisable strategy

The best way to get the best sleep is to end the workday at a suitable time. Just stop whatever you are doing and shift your attention to caring for you body. Take a walk, do some mindless activity that allows you to quiet your mind. Whatever crisis you are facing can be solved tomorrow. Turn off all sources of noise and distractions. Allow your mind to become quiet. Allow yourself enough time to get the rest that you need. Then allow yourself to awaken naturally.

Once you get into the habit of cycling down your conscious mind, you can develop the habit of waking at a desired time. If you are getting enough rest, you should awaken before your alarm goes off. This is much better for you than starting off your day by being alarmed.

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