Why You Need Downtime and 6 Ways to Get It
A guest post by Maria Rainier
If you’re anything like me, you’re a multitasker and an all-round busybody from the time you wake up to the post-midnight hour you finally call it quits. You’ve often heard that we need downtime at the end of the day, but since you always feel like you could accomplish more with this supposed downtime, why not do so?
According to sleep experts, this is probably why I wake up several times a night from bizarre dreams. (Seriously, I still need a nightlight.)
Yes, You Need to Sleep
Carl E. Hunt, M.D. (director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research in Bethesda, MD), says that with sensory overload comes unrest, even when you’re supposed to be resting. You need to “relax and to slow down from the pace of daily activities.” He adds, “There’s no substitute for getting a good night’s sleep on a consistent basis.”
No, You Don’t Need That
Well, how about a small glass of wine before bedtime? Author of The Body Clock Guide to Better Health, Michael Smolensky, Ph.D., says nope. Even if alcohol initially makes your eyelids heavy, “it depresses some of the neurological functions that help maintain sleep.”
Okay, well how about Mama’s recipe: warm milk?
Strike two. There’s not enough tryptophan (the sleep-inducing amino acid) in just one cup of it. Still, a small bedtime snack with carbohydrates helps release serotonin (the happy hormone). You can’t go to bed angry.
So, busy little bee, give the wings a rest for at least a couple hours at the end of the day—before midnight.
6 Ways to Wind Down
About the author: Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education where she writes about education, online degrees, and what it takes to succeed as a student taking online programs remotely from home. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.
image by Minugia