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Benefits of Getting Your Z's

Every parent knows that a cranky child is more pleasant after her “beauty sleep”. It works for adults too. If your life has become so busy that you have decided to give up on sleep, please reconsider. There are numerous benefits. Here are a few.

Sleep aids in the processing of emotions. REM is when sleep experts say dreaming takes place. Supposedly we start by reviewing the events of the day and trying to make sense of them. Thus, the right-brain/left-brain battle brings on some weird images or nightmares. As the night progresses these issues are settled and dreams become more positive, going into the realm of problem solving and goal setting type of daydreaming. What a shame to get too few hours’ sleep and miss out on this beneficial imagery.

Sleep helps to balance perspectives. Research says that because of the right-brain, left-brain switches over during sleep, one’s dream state gives more input and creativity than one’s awakened state. Also, in the relaxation of sleep, the intuitive side willingly receives new insight from the logical side.

The old recommendation to “sleep on it” bears a lot of truth. While your body is being reset through the restful mechanics of sleep, the mind is fully active, exploring through buried files unhindered by conscious thought. The engaged mind reviews and sorts and categorizes and comes to conclusions. Even though it happens frequently, I am still impressed when I awaken with the answer to last night’s cross-word puzzle.

Sleep helps elongates short term memory. Harvard University studies taken from different angles, has impressive research showing sleep improves information storage. Students that study intensely followed by sleep then awaken to testing, scored consistently higher than students who studied intently then immediately was tested while “it was still fresh on their mind.” There is something mysterious about sleeping that allows the mind to better understand information, associate it with prior knowledge, store it and easily retrieve it later.

Experts say the amount of regular sleep effects one’s overall weight. Too little restful sleep the more pounds on the frame and the more difficulty in losing weight.

Sleep resets our systems. As a person who functioned well on only a few hours of sleep, I was reluctant to stay abed longer. These benefits have been motivators to me to and have improved my life and health. It may take a while to learn new sleep habits and it is well worth the effort.

For all your speaking and training needs, contact Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach,”

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