Thursday, April 23, 2009

Valuable Investments: Sleep

Photo via Geoparent

Today's valuable investment needs no explanation: sleep.  We all know it's important, that getting enough sleep is imperative to good decision making and cognitive function, and that skipping out on our zzzzs takes a major toll on our physical health, our mental health, and, quite frankly, how enjoyable we are to be around.  But of course, when you are only halfway through tomorrow's report and your mind is racing with anxiety, short-term pressures seem to supersede the long-term benefits of eight solid hours of quality shut eye.  

So tonight, go ahead and let yourself unwind.  Turn off the TV and the computer and let your eyes adjust to the dimming evening light. This will signal to your brain that it is night time and your internal chemicals can sufficiently prepare your body for a period of rejuvenation. Spend some time making a mental list (or perhaps a physical list, whatever is more relaxing to you) of the things you are grateful for, and notice how this practice helps to melt away stress and slow your mind's chatter. Finally, visualize a soothing scene as you drift into the first stages of sleep. By allowing your body and mind to fully relax and prepare for sleep before jumping into bed, you can achieve more restful sleep and make the most from your time under the covers.  

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