One of the best gifts you can give yourself is an extra hour of sleep. Not only is it free, but just one extra hour of shut-eye can really make the next day better.
We live in a busy, busy world, and most of us can sometimes miss out on a few hours of good, uninterrupted slumber.
How much sleep do we need?
Really, how much sleep you need depends on your age and the state of your health. Make sure as an adult you get at least eight hours to ensure that you are well-rested.
Children and teens need more sleep to keep them alert and ready for school each day. According to the National Sleep Foundation, teens need 8 1/2-9 hours of sleep a night and children under 10 need at least 10-11.
If you do have kids, you can feel good knowing when you corral them up for that earlier bedtime that you are doing the right thing. You should also put away any electronic devices that might distract them, too.
What are some benefits of sleep?
Not only does getting the right amount of sleep help you rejuvenate from the day, it can also take some stress off your cardiovascular system. Getting your allotted sleep hours helps reduce levels of stress and inflammation in your body, lowering your risk for strokes or heart disease.
Adequate sleep is also great for your memory and overall brain health. So put on your thinking cap and catch some shut-eye so your brain is capable of better processing new experiences and knowledge, and increasing its ability to understand and retain new information.
Make your bed the place to be
One of the best ways to get a good night's sleep is to invest in a quality mattress. It's integral in helping you get comfortable, enough to drift slowly off into a dream each night and rest peacefully.
What if you think you have a sleep disorder?
50-70 million Americans have a sleep disorder, according to the Center for Disease Control, so it's good to keep yourself in check. If you think you aren't resting well, talk to your doctor before taking things into your own hands. A professional opinion could help you solve the dilemma.
What are some things I can do to sleep better?
Eat a healthier diet and don't eat within three hours of bedtime so your food as plenty of time to digest.
Set a sleep and wake schedule. Heading to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each day can help you create a sleep rhythm.
Don't drink that last cup of coffee! Even though you might love it, or think you even need it, it can prevent you from resting when you are ready to hit the hay.
Finally, create a "winding down" time about an hour before your bedtime. Read, meditate, take a warm bath or something else relaxing to bring some closure to the end of the day.
Whatever it is you decide to do, embrace your dreams and give yourself the gift of sweet slumber for a healthier, stronger you.
Twinkle VanWinkle was born in a small town in Mississippi. A life-long lover of music, media and food, she grew up following those three things along her path. She has almost 20 years of professional cooking under her apron strings, feeding thousands of friends, family and other folks while working in restaurants and bakeries in Oxford, Miss. She baked 300 apple pies for the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and appeared on "The Best Of..." in the same year. Along with producing dynamic entertainment content for LIN Media, she is a mother, musician and social media fanatic.
More than 100 trees covered in lights now shine bright throughout Zilker Park. The Trail of Lights is open for another season.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside of a vehicle which lost control during the icy conditions, DPS said.
Travis County non-profit Center for Child Protection will benefit next March from an all day fundraiser at the Circuit of the Americas that will see plenty of donors racing on the track.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg heads to court this week as a defendant in a civil trial that could oust her from office.
Santa visited Austin early on Sunday, joining hundreds of motorcyclists for their annual Toy Run.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.