“You might think it’s just a midlife thing, but if you find yourself feeling irritable, anxious, or depressed, if you get easily frustrated, forgetful, or can’t cope with stress like you used to, it could be because you’re not getting enough good-quality sleep,” Gwyneth wrote in an online essay. “The lifestyle I lead is based not just on clean eating, but also on clean sleeping: at least seven or eight hours of good, quality sleep — and ideally even 10.”
Dr Sagnik Chattopadhyay, critical care and cardio–diabetic specialist, also stresses the importance of sleep. He says, “Sleeping allows your body to detox and repair itself. It also regulates your appetite. Poor-quality sleep can negatively affect every aspect of your life, causing things such as weight gain, because sleep can lead to tiredness, which leads to stress, which, in turn stimulates cortisol and insulin — the hormones that signal your body to store fat. Sleep plays an important role in determining your appetite and energy levels. So it should be your first priority — even more than your diet.”
Less sleep can also trigger bad moods, along with more serious problems such as a less effective immune system. Thus, Gwyneth recommends that insomniacs try mental techniques like controlled relaxation — which gives all the benefits of sleep while you are awake. She also suggests a 12-hour gap between eating overnight — dinner at 7 pm and breakfast at 7 am . If you do have to eat late, the thing to keep in mind is to avoid sugar.
She ends it with, “Call it vanity, call it health, but I know there’s a huge correlation between how I feel and what I look like when I roll out of bed in the morning.”
OTHER BENEFITS OF SLEEPING
1) Improves memory
2) Curbs inflammation
3) Spurs creativity
4) Sharpens attention
5) Helps steer clear of depression
Ways to get better sleep
1) Say no to bedtime snacks: This will prevent the digestive process from disturbing your sleep. This is because the body won’t slip into deep-detox mode until about eight hours after the last meal and then it needs about four more hours of undisturbed sleep to do its job properly.
2) Try a head rub: Massage special trigger points on the back of your head with your thumb in a circular motion just before bed. There are specific points on the skull that are known to have therapeutic effects.
3) Foot massage: Give your feet an at least three-minute massage with a moisturizing cream before you sleep.
4) Invest in a copper pillow: According to studies, pillowcases using strands of copper oxide prevent wrinkles as they boost elastin and collagen in the skin. It is also believed to have antimicrobial properties that fight bacteria and could help tame spots and acne that can re-appear in middle age.
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