Sleeping Beauty was way ahead of her time, understanding the importance of a good night sleep. While she might have known resting made her beautiful, she might not have been aware that sleep and rest in general plays a critical role in immune functioning, weight management, and mood support. In our constant on-the-go mentality and lifestyle it makes sense that we feel stressed, tired and drained (physically, mentally and emotionally). Proper rest and a good night’s sleep are keys to reducing stress and anxiety. Most people don’t get enough sleep, which on average should be between 7 and 8 hours per night. Poor sleep habits are often an overlooked explanation for anxiety and poor stress management. Research has found that nearly two-thirds of people blame lack of sleep for why they feel irritable. Tired of Being Tired The perpetual cycle of “tired of being tired” goes a bit like this….we get up early, rush out the door (sans a healthy breakfast) grab an extra large coffee with cream and sugar, maybe a bagel and then go about checking our phones and seeing to our daily schedule. Before we know it the afternoon crash rolls around and we need a quick “pick me up”, which usually consists of some more refined sugar or maybe another large coffee, only to find ourselves feeling the same way an hour or two later. It is a vicious cycle that is often a result of poor diet, improper rest and lack of sleep. So how can you break this cycle? Take a page from miss sleeping beauty and get a good night’s rest! Try and be asleep by 10:30pm. Your body does pretty much all of its physical repair (releasing growth hormone, antioxidants, testosterone, cleansing the organs etc) from 10:00pm until roughly 2:00am. If you miss this sleep window you are missing out on the many health and longevity benefits of sleep. The deepest and most regenerative sleep occurs between 10 p.m. - 2 a.m. After 2am, your sleep becomes more superficial. At 10 p.m., your body goes through a transformation following the rise in melatonin production. This transformational phase of sleep is associated with an increase in the “internal” metabolic activity that is responsible for the repair and restoration of your body. Sleep is one of our body’s most efficient workers. This is the time when we repair, renew and replenish our mind and body, so take advantage of the benefits of a sound sleep!