Getting at least seven hours of quality rest each night is essential for optimal health. Sleep is the foundation of all your daily habits and decisions. Lack of sleep can negatively affect your mood and temperament, as well as your ability to focus on daily tasks.

Lack of sleep can have a significant impact on both the mind and the body. In addition to perpetuating serious conditions, lack of sleep can negatively affect your mood and temperament, as well as your ability to focus on daily tasks. Also, lack of sleep influences what you eat and how much you eat. Since hormones are regulated during sleep, when you miss hours of sleep, your hunger hormones get out of control and that increases the feeling of hunger and decreases satiety. It's no coincidence that you find yourself reaching for bagels and muffins when you're exhausted.

Also, sleep allows your mind and body to recover from the work day, and these important processes are shortened when you don't get enough sleep. During the rapid eye movement (REM) stage or paradoxical sleep, your brain sorts out important information from what is not and archives long-term memory. If this stage of your sleep cycle is short, your concentration and mental alertness may decrease. Additionally, you may feel moody and short-tempered.

Do you need incentives to prioritize healthy sleep habits?

Sleeping less than seven hours a night is associated with weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression, among other health risks. Also, when you don't get enough sleep, you can experience more aches and pains in the body, a decrease in immune function, and a deterioration in work performance. All of these issues can have a ripple effect on your daily habits.

On the other hand, making sleep a priority can help you reach your other wellness goals, like managing stress. When your body and mind are well rested, you can respond to life with greater perspective and understanding. Try these tips to sleep better and lay the foundation for your overall well-being.

Set a dream goal.

Try to get at least seven hours of sleep a night to give yourself the energy to cope with the demands of your day. Waking up refreshed will help you make smart decisions and stick to your diet and exercise plan. Getting a good night's sleep can help increase your motivation and willpower, making it easier to avoid temptations.

Set a regular bedtime and stick to it.

The first step in changing a behavior is to commit to what you want to achieve and stick to the plan. Set a regular bedtime and stick to it as much as possible. This may mean putting your phone in another room so you're not tempted to check social media right before bed, or setting an alarm to remind you that it's time to start getting ready for bed.

When your body and mind are fatigued, you may misinterpret hunger signals. The next time you find yourself wandering around the kitchen or mindlessly snacking while working, ask yourself if you're tired instead of hungry. It's common to mistake fatigue or emotions for hunger.

Try to be calm before going to sleep.

Setting aside a little time before bed to relax can help transition to sleep. Try deep breaths, progressive muscle relaxation, gentle stretches, or guided imagery to help focus your attention on the present and away from worries. If having a busy mind keeps you awake, write down your thoughts in a journal or on a pad of paper next to your bed.

The reward for adequate sleep goes far beyond banishing dark circles (although that's an added bonus). Dedicating yourself to this healthy habit is one of the best steps you can take to gain health.


  1. Keep a sleep diary for a week and take note of any patterns you discover.
  2. Do your best to cut down on foods and drinks that can disturb sleep, such as large and heavy meals, alcohol, coffee, caffeinated tea, and chocolate.
  3. Create a relaxing (screen-free) routine at bedtime, like taking a bath or reading a book.

By: Stacy M. Peterson and Brooke L. Werneburg