We all know how incredibly wonderful it can feel to get a solid night’s rest. But did you know that sleeping is essential for our bodies to function healthily? Sleep is actually scary good for you, and here’s why:
Good sleep improves your productivity and brain function
Good sleep can maximize problem-solving skills and enhance memory. When you sleep, certain parts of your brain essentailly shut off. This gives them the opportunity to rest and regenerate. When you wake, you’re able to think faster and retain better.
Good sleep makes you a better performer
“In a study on basketball players, longer sleep was shown to significantly improve speed, accuracy, reaction times and mental wellbeing.” This is crucial for dancers! We need to be able to think and feel and move quickly on our feet, whether we’re in class or performing.
Sleep improves your mental and emotional health
People who don’t sleep well are much more likely to have depression and other mental/emotional diseases. This is because they are simply not giving their mind and body the opportunity to do the magic it does while we sleep. When we get a good night’s rest, we’re more likely to be joyful, happier and have a more positive outlook on the day ahead!
Good sleep helps maintain your immunity
Getting at least eight hours of sleep can improve your immune function and help fight the common cold, headaches and general pains in the body. This is especially important during the winter season, which is known as cold and flu season. Getting 8 hours of sleep, drinking lots of water and even upping your garlic intake (which also fends away vampires) will help to protect your body from a creepy cold.
So how can you help yourself get better sleep? Here are a few tips!
Limit screen time before you go to bed
Professionals recommend turning off your screens; that means computers, tvs and phones, at least 1-2 hours before you’d like to fall asleep. This helps the brain to relax and allows for more production of melatonin, which regulates how much light gets into the brain.
Use Lavender & Camomile
Rubbing Lavender essential oil on the bottoms of your feet (which feels really great after dancing, anyways) will help your body to relax at night when you’re ready for bed. You can also drink a camomile tea, which is known to help calm the nervous system. Another option is to dilute Lavender oil with water in a spray bottle and mist it on your pillow and sheets before bed.
It’s a good idea to try and limit your caffeine intake to one cup of coffee a day, and not drink any after 1pm. Sometimes caffeine is latent in your system, meaning that you may start to feel it’s effects long after you drink it- potentially keeping you up during the night.
Get an eye mask
An eye mask helps to block out all unwanted light. Darkness is ideal for your mind and body to fully relax to get that perfect nights sleep.
Cheers to better sleeping, and a scary good night of rest!