Why do we sleep? What is sleep? The truth is, we don’t really know. All we know is that human beings, along with most animals, need sleep to survive. Good things happen when we do sleep, and going without sleep can eliminate our ability to function.
Under normal circumstances, it’s actually impossible for us to not sleep. After a certain period of wakefulness, sleep becomes involuntary. When we try to fight the body’s natural need for sleep, serious consequences may result. In June 2012, a story appeared in the newspapers about a soccer fan who died after staying up for eleven consecutive days, watching the European Championships at night and going to work during the day. Exhaustion, combined with his use of alcohol and tobacco, ultimately led to heart failure.
Sometimes, sleeplessness is involuntary. Many people suffer from insomnia or other sleep problems and find it nearly impossible to fall asleep at night or sleep without waking up frequently. This can lead to cognitive impairment, as well as feelings of plain-old physical discomfort due to tiredness.
Some sleep disorders may be severe enough to require medical consultation or medication. However, there are simpler solutions to most common sleep problems – everyday tactics to improve your sleep habits without resorting to medication or therapy.
One of those remedies is a dose of good old-fashioned hard work. There are a variety of ways in which a day full of productive labor will help you to enjoy a night of peaceful slumber. Take a look at what these benefits might be if you are struggling with sleep issues, or if you just want to pat yourself on the back for the hard work you already do!
Hard Work Helps You Get Physical Activity
Not surprisingly, a daily dose of physical activity is a great way to improve your ability to sleep at night. Physical activity helps you to spend your pent-up energy so that you feel genuinely tired at the end of each day. It helps you to avoid that dreaded experience of feeling tired and worn out, but not really feeling sleepy and struggling to drift off.
Many people struggle to engage in regular exercise just for the sake of exercising. However, getting exercise becomes a no-brainer if physical exertion is part of an activity you do regularly for fun, or necessary for the work you perform. Manual labor may not be considered “glamorous” these days, but it’s the desk-bound pencil pushers who struggle with diets and pay gym membership fees!
Hard Work Can Help You To Reduce Stress
Stress is one of the most common sources of sleepless nights. Anxiety, racing thoughts, and even physical symptoms of stress such as heart palpitations can make it difficult to fall asleep when you go to bed, or to get back to sleep if you wake up in the middle of the night.
If you have several sources of significant stress in your life, the most effective solution is to do your best to eliminate or mitigate those sources of stress. However, it is rarely possible to remove all stress from our lives completely, and the way in which we manage everyday worries can be the difference between making mountains out of molehills and keeping molehills their intended size.
Which brings us around to exercise again – regular exercise helps us to improve our ability to manage our reactions to stress. First of all, exercise helps our brains to produce more endorphins, which are neurotransmitters that help us to feel happy. Exercise and hard work can also be a form of meditation by forcing our minds to stop thinking about our problems and worries in order to focus on movement. Plus, exercise will help keep you healthy, and that is one less thing to stress about!
Another way that hard work can help you to reduce stress is by helping eliminate sources of worry. Whether its tackling a major home-improvement project, organizing and reducing clutter, or just performing on the job day after day, exercise that is also productive packs a double dose of benefits.
Hard Work Will Help You Stick To A Sleep Schedule
One of the best things that you can do to improve your ability to sleep is to stick to a regular sleep schedule. Schedules will help you to wake up in the morning because your body becomes accustomed to growing alert at a certain hour, but it will also help to program your body to shut down at a certain time and prepare for sleep.
Engaging in hard work can be a good way to help you stick to a regular sleeping schedule. When you are not doing much of anything, it’s amazing how quickly the hours can slip away. It’s all too easy to stay up late doing trivial things and allow your body to get used to being relatively dormant without going to sleep.
Hard work can give you great motivation for getting out of bed in the morning, and it can also help your body to distinguish between night and day. As those of us with sleep difficulty know that falling asleep is not a matter of simply flipping a switch. And we may be surprised to realize how many “don’t fall asleep” signals we are giving our body when we feel like we are pleading with it to fall asleep.
Frequently, being tired is not enough signal our bodies that it is time to go to sleep. Other clues like darkness, silence, and generally removing external and internal stimuli are important to falling asleep. If you spend your days in a sedentary fashion, especially in front of a computer screen, doing activities in the evening that may seem like “winding down” – things like playing video games or watching television – do not seem that different to your daytime activities. It becomes much more difficult for your body to figure out when it is time to go to sleep and to stick to a schedule.
Working In The Sunshine Means Better Sleep
Another factor that can help you to stick to a sleep schedule is exposure to sunlight during the day. While few people actually wake up at dawn and go to bed at sundown, our bodies still use sunlight to distinguish between day and night.
Just as being sedentary throughout the day can confuse your body about when it is time to wind down and go to sleep, staying indoors and in dim or artificial light throughout the day can cause the two-fold problem of leaving you feeling drowsy and sluggish during the day while also making it more difficult for you to fall asleep at night.
Hard work often involves getting outdoors and into the sunshine, indirectly affecting your ability to sleep well in yet another way. Even indoor work of an active nature often means working in bright natural light as opposed to, say, the glow from a computer screen.
©2012 Off the Grid News