When we were all “living on the farm” the rising and setting of the sun determined our sleep and wake routine and the rooster was our only confirmation that it was time to get out of bed. We were created that way. You see our bodies were designed to react to light and dark which are the essential triggers to bring about sleep and then to wake us up in the morning naturally. If we are in sync with our bodies we’ll get sleepy naturally and won’t need an alarm clock to jolt us out of our sleep. (Think about why we hide the sun by putting up heavy curtains in our bedrooms).

Before electricity was invented, and candles were our only “light in the dark,”
and long before all those stimulating electrical gadgets infiltrated our homes and offices and purses, sleep came easily. When we went to sleep shortly after the sun set and got up when it rose to begin our day’s work, and we maintained that schedule instinctively, sleep problems were probably rare. Today they are epidemic. When our bodies are fine tuned to our body’s rhythms we find that our alarm clocks become redundant because they reside in our heads.

Good sleep habits, like good eating and exercise habits, are the most important things we can do in ensuring that we maintain our good health. During sleep our immune system is strengthened to help us fight off illness as well as to heal and repair tissue. This is the time when memories are banked and what we learned during the day is stored in our brains (like re-booting a computer). This is why it is more important for students to get a good night’s sleep before an exam than to stay up all night cramming. This also holds true for those of us who are juggling home and career – especially we women who take everything so seriously. No matter how helpful our partners are – wouldn’t you agree that women have the market cornered on worrying that everything will run smoothly?

Poor sleep also threatens our health by increasing the risk for heart disease, stress and weigh gain. What? Weight gain? Really? Didn’t think they were related? Think again! Lack of sleep makes our body produce too much gherlin, the hormone that makes you feel hungry. That’s why you need that third and fourth cup of coffee and the sugary donut or carb filled muffin, especially in the afternoons. It also reduces the production of leptin, responsible for making you feel satisfied after eating. And don’t think you can cheat by trying to catch up on sleep on the weekends. There is no such thing as “catching up” on sleep. Behaving differently on the weekends than during the week puts your body further out of whack. It is important to strive to create a regular bed and wake up time seven days a week and stick to it.

You will feel so much better every day if you can accomplish this small tweak in your daily habits and so many things will begin to fall back into place. Otherwise, you are only cheating yourself.

Tova Greenberg is President of The Sleep Genie. For more info on sleep go to http://www.TheSleepGenie.com

Author's Bio: 

Tova Greenberg is the mother of 2 daughters and a career businesswoman. She is a sleep expert who the launched The Sleep Genie is Canada three years ago and has been devoting her time and creativity to make the company grow and make a difference in the lives of people suffering with sleep problems.