4 Reasons Why You Should Try Pilates Now

I have tried many different workouts before like cardio, yoga, weight training, and even tried to do several sports but they didn’t seem to work for me. Yes, they did help me achieve my weight goal and kept me fit but nothing gives me complete satisfaction as Pilates does.

I’ve always felt more tired and less energetic after a workout. However, with Pilates, it made me feel better than ever. If you haven’t tried it yet, here are four reasons why you should do it now.

But First, What is Pilates?

Many would probably think that it’s just another workout fad that will soon fade after several years. Well, I was surprised to find out that it has been around way longer than my existence. Pilates is a full-body and low-impact exercise that targets the core and helps strengthen the muscles.

Since the core body is our main foundation, it helps improve not only our posture but our mobility and flexibility too.

At first, I thought that it will only tone my abs but my instructor told me that it will work out my whole body including my thighs, back, and hips. True enough, after several sessions, there was a big improvement in my body.

Why Try it Now?

1. Pilates Is For Everyone

No one is too old nor too young to do Pilates. Beginners, seasoned athletes, or even someone like me who’s somehow in between can do it. Those with injuries will also find Pilates very helpful with their recoveries. 

The good thing about this exercise regimen is that it is adaptable and can be modified depending on your level and needs. A lot of people with injuries have recovered faster without the pain from Pilates.

2. A Mind and Body Workout

Another reason to love this discipline is because it keeps me calm and relaxed after a session. During Pilates sessions in Fitzroy North, it clears my mind and just lets me concentrate on my mind and body. It keeps me focused on my goal and helps me forget about the daily stresses in my life.

This is probably why I feel lighter and happier after my session. It almost has the same effect as meditation and yoga, but even better.

3. It Is Everywhere

Pilates aficionados are everywhere that I even see them live close to me. Actually, fitness centers offering Pilates sessions can easily be sought because they are scattered all around, whether you are in the city centre or suburb area.

It seems like Pilates has become a fad to the locals inclined to fitness especially since this kind of workout provides a number of health benefits. Finding a local Pilates instructor has become easier as well.

4. Proportioned and Well-toned Body

My only goal is to have a toned and strong body without the bulk and this is exactly what Pilates did to me. Unlike with other workouts that had me developed bulky muscles, with Pilates I was able to achieve long and lean muscles that are well proportioned to my physique.

There is nothing wrong with developing bulky muscles though, but it’s just not fit for my body type. I used to have that kind of body but realized that it’s not what I wanted to achieve.

Pilates had truly changed my life for the better. Not only with my physical body but also with my mind. I noticed that my anxiety attacks were lessened after months of training.

It also made me felt lighter, calmer, and happier. Plus, it did not require me to workout every day and was still able to achieve my fitness goal.

Aside from that, even if I do not have much time to hit the gym, it can be done at home and without the need to use large exercise equipment. An instructional video and a simple mat will do to perform Pilates at home.

Effective Physiotherapy: The Key to Knee Pain Relief

Knee pain is commonplace in the country, as it one of the leading causes of pain among Australians who suffer from chronic pain.

This condition restricts movement, negatively impacts muscle control in the affected leg, and reduces the endurance and strength of knee muscles and its surrounding muscle region.

What are the causes of knee pain?

One of the most common medical condition that affects the knee is osteoarthritis. Almost 1.9 million Australians are diagnosed with this condition and suffer from knee pain.

Osteoarthritis is caused by the degeneration of the knee cartilage resulting in inflammation, pain, and swelling.

Other causes of knee pain are excessive weight, ageing, sports-related injuries, dislocation, fracture, repetitive-motion injuries, and underlying infections.

If you are suffering from excruciating knee pain on a regular basis, it is of utmost importance to look for a pain management plan that will work for you.

What are the symptoms of knee pain?

Ligament tear – ligaments are fibres that provide support and stability to the knees. When ligaments are overworked or stretched to their limits, this can result in permanent damage, pain, swelling, joint weakness and instability.

Cartilage tear – cartilage in the knees functions as shock absorber. They can suffer mild to severe damages as a result of natural wear and tear.

Knee-cap pain – this is characterised by the abnormal movement of the patella due to muscle imbalance, shallow grooves in the femur, tightness of soft tissues, and feet pronation. Pain increases gradually over time and feels worse when performing activities that involve knee bending. 

How do you treat knee pain?

Some of the most common management and treatment interventions for knee pain are as follows:

Medications

One of the most popular treatments for knee pain is pain killer administration. Medications offer fast-acting pain relief and is a good way to manage acute knee pain and related symptoms. Prescription medication are usually provided to treat the underlying cause of knee pain.

Surgery

In the case of chronic knee pain or serious wear and tear of joints, your doctor may prescribe knee replacement surgery or knee correction surgery.

Injection

The administration of corticosteroid injections alleviates the pain of inflamed knees. Other injection treatments to manage chronic knee pain are hyaluronic acid supplements and arthrocentesis.

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy is an effective means of relieving knee pain. A reliable physio in Werribee area can help you manage knee pain at home, too.

The main objective of physiotherapy is to provide you with an effective treatment strategy in dealing with knee pain and related injuries in the long run.

Your physiotherapist will give you exercises and treatment methodologies that will contribute to healing and improvement of your condition hence less pain as time goes by.

Some treatment methods for knee pain are as follows:

  • Manual Therapy – this includes manipulation and massage of knee muscles
  • Ultrasound – physiotherapists will use sound waves to reduce muscle spasms and pain.
  • Electrical Stimulation – utilises mild electrical current to manage pain.

Physiotherapists may also recommend using heat and cold application to treat pain and inflammation. You will be given step-by-step instruction on how to use these techniques properly and safely at home.

The core of physiotherapy-based treatment for knee pain always includes exercise. Exercise may include core workouts, strength building movements, stretching, and walking.

Proper exercises that are customised based on your needs is a highly effective means of strengthening your muscles which in turn helps you to manage knee pain.

Increased comfort while exercising will lead to a more active lifestyle, which can help reduce knee pain all together. Physiotherapists provide comprehensive instructions and recommendations, so you can do all these exercises with utmost efficiency and safety in mind.

In severe cases, your physiotherapist may order you to wear knee braces that aids in mobility while reducing pain levels.

When looking for a physiotherapist that can help in managing your knee pain, I personally recommend looking for one that boasts expertise and experience in knee pain treatment and management.

It’s also important to check and verify if a physiotherapist is trained and licensed before obtaining his or her services. To get the best results, always do your due diligence and research for top-rated and reliable physio in Werribee area.

5 Benefits of Professional Office Cleaning Services

An average employee spends almost half of his waking hours at work. Having a clean and neat office is, therefore, a necessity than a luxury.

While employers have an internal staff to sweep and wipe the surfaces, I learned from experience to commission the help of a professional cleaning provider to thoroughly clean the nooks and crannies of the building.

The benefits of having a clean, organized office far outweighs the costs. Let me share 5 ultimate reasons why you should invest in wiping and mopping the floors to perfection:

Increased Work Productivity

A clean space equals a clean mind. Studies found that freeing the environment from clutter leads to increased work productivity.

Have you ever tried working in a messy desk? Then you know best how difficult it is to concentrate with too many obstructions.

Your attention is limited. With too many unnecessary stimuli competing for your attention, your productivity naturally decreases.

So when I can’t find time to remove those stubborn wall and carpet stains, I hire a professional cleaner.

They may appear harmless and irrelevant but these eyesores unconsciously pull down my drive.

Positive Company Culture

The benefits of having a clean work environment do not stop at the tangible results (i.e., productivity and revenue).

With a nice workspace also comes a nicer company culture. Don’t you just love to dress up and talk to clients confidently when your meeting rooms are equally clean, attractive, and fresh?

If the walls are painted with happy colors and the furniture pieces are sparkling with confidence, the employees are likely to exude the same vibe.

Again, these less-tangible benefits happen at the subconscious level. Everything is a play of perception.

Reduced Risk of Disease Contamination

Communicable diseases easily spread within closed spaces. My seatmate came to work with the first signs of flu, then I experienced the same symptoms just after a few days at work.

Having open spaces is great, but this doesn’t guarantee complete health safety at all.

A regular thorough professional cleaning of spaces, however, can help reduce the risk of spreading viruses.

Besides the usual vacuuming and dusting, professional office cleaning services can include sanitizing tools (e.g., computers, phones, pantry equipment, projectors), furniture (e.g., door knobs, counter tops), and other items (e.g., faucets, windows).

These preventive measures are necessary in crowded offices like mine.

Better Brand Image

You are what you wear and you are where you work. An insurance agent who brings a client to a messy, smelly office space will likely to receive a bad first impression.

The same thing happens during employment interviews. I likely perceive a company backward and poorly managed if its building is dusty, worn-out, and disorganized.

First impressions matter. In the business world, the design and cleanliness of your interiors are like what clothes are to a person.

They define the brand image. So if you’re keen to improve brand equity and revenue, don’t cut the budget for cleaning.

A clean office goes a long in silently marketing your brand to the public – tried and tested myself.

Increased Long-term Savings

Employers often overlook cleaning and organizing their offices and focus their efforts more on generating sales.

I know some employers who would totally disregard hiring cleaners, thinking that doing so eats up the operational costs.

It’s perfectly understandable to be minding the cash flow but neglecting cleaning can potentially damage the precious the movement of money one day.

For instance, one can prevent carpets from being severely stained and save cabinets from deep-seated dirt with regular cleaning.

While most cleaning providers offer a range of budget-friendly prices, the cost of deep cleaning is far higher than ordinary cleaning.

Not to mention, you may have to spend on repair or replacement costs if the damage is too much.

Prevention is always better than cure. Thus you should allot a reasonable budget for cleaning.

If you wish to hire an internal housekeeper on a part-time basis, it’s perfectly fine. But I find hiring professional cleaners occasionally is a good, strategic investment.

5 Things You Need to Consider When Buying a Mini Trampoline in Australia

Mini trampolines are nothing new. Sure, they have their origins from the full-sized trampolines that some of us may have in our backyards. What I am quite excited about is the growing popularity of portable rebounders. An officemate of mine bought one last week.

A friend is also contemplating on buying her own mini trampoline. The thing is, mini trampolines can be a safer and more fun way to burn calories while also enhancing core stability and joint flexibility.

But then, everything depends on whether you get the right mini trampoline or not. Hence, I decided to share with you the 5 things that you have to think about when deciding on the best mini trampoline to buy in Australia. Here they are:

1. Durability and Size of the Trampoline Mat

It matters a lot that the trampoline’s surface comes with a strong and durable material. Remember, this is the surface that will take most of your weight. As such, it is important to check out the material used in the mini trampoline’s construction. Inexpensive ones often use canvas or some other similar material.

There are also those that use polypropylene and other more advanced and stronger materials. The diameter of the mat also matters. If you don’t have the luxury of space at home, then you may need a smaller diameter. If space is not an issue, then get a larger size. You will be able to bounce more and execute more exercises on a larger surface area.

2. Sturdiness of the Frame

While the material construction of the trampoline mat matters a lot, do not forget to assess the quality of the frame, too. This is the structure that supports the mat. In a way, it is the skeleton of the mini trampoline. You would want it to be strong.

Always go for high-gauge steel frame instead of plastic or some other material. Make sure that the steel is thick. Also consider the rebounder’s user weight capacity. It will give you an idea of how strong the system is.

3. Material Used in Generating Bounce

It should be obvious that having a trampoline mat and frame are enough to let you bounce high up into the air. There must be a mechanism that attaches the mat to the frame. The same mechanism is also what gives the trampoline its bouncy action.

If you want to bounce high, go for mini trampolines with steel springs. However, be mindful that they are stiffer than other systems. As such, you may feel a bit of pressure on the knees as you land on the mat. Other rebounders come with bungee cord-like resistance bands. They are friendly to the joints but may not offer you a high bounce.

4. Additional Features

There are mini trampolines that come with stability bars. These are perfect for keeping you safe against accidental falls. Some also come with a frame cover, bridging the gap between the mat and the frame.

This feature also improves safety while protecting the spring mechanism. One feature you may want to consider is a mini trampoline’s foldable design. This means you can pack it and bring it with you wherever you go.

5. Price

Entry-level mini trampolines often come with a price tag below A$100. High-end rebounders, meanwhile, are those priced at A$400 and upwards. Expect the materials, construction, and features to vary depending on the price range. However, there are mini trampolines that can offer you exceptional value.

Picking the best mini trampoline in Australia to buy should not be very difficult, as my colleagues and friends have shown. By considering these 5 things, you can also bring home the right rebounder for you.

Getting Treatment at Middle Park Physio for My Leg Cramps Problem

Leg cramps are commonly experienced by many including myself. It is characterized by a hardened lump on particular body area. The hardened portion is the muscle that contracted which causes the pain sensation. When leg cramps passes, it leaves behind some sort of pain and a little tenderness in the leg which can last for hours. It usually happens during night time. This is indeed true in my case. It is one of the common reasons that causes me to wake up in the middle of the night aside from bad dreams.

I usually do not mind having cramps because I have done internet searches regarding it. Most of the time, I look for solutions which comes with leg cramp causes. Based on my research, muscle cramp, which includes that of the leg, can be caused by our movements within the day. It may be caused by significant fatigue or a result of lacking electrolytes and water. Inadequate supply of these electrolytes causes an individual like me to have muscles which do not work smoothly. Frequent occurrences have alarmed me. Thus, I sought the help of professionals in Middle Park physio.

Before I went to Middle Park, I have tried home remedies recommended in the internet. Most of time, I stretch the cramped muscles with care in order not to worsen it. To match this, I have heating pad supplies which I often use too, especially after stretching. I have also tried adjusting my diet by adding magnesium intake through varying snacks like nuts. I have also changed my hydration practice, since dehydration also causes cramps. Other than these, I have availed regular massage services to make sure that my muscles, especially my leg muscles are relaxed. These practices used to be an effective way to reduce the occurrences of my cramps. However, as time passes, these no longer sufficed.

It was only a few months ago when I decided to Middle Park. I considered the episodes of my leg cramps quite an inconvenience. The incidence of the cramps caused great discomfort to me during the night. Although the cramps disappear within a couple of minutes, I have suspected that there is a serious underlying cause in my case. The former usual twitches during cramps became unusual unbearable pains. Thus, I inquired about the aforementioned Middle Park Physiotherapy services.

Physiotherapy is another term for physical therapy. Generally, physiotherapy is intended to cure illnesses, injuries and disabilities. Middle Park Physio specializes in body pain, whether back pain, headache, neck pain, work or sport injuries, arthritis, joint pain and of course, muscle pain. It offered deep tissue massages too! The clinic environment was conducive for relaxation. The practitioners were very welcoming to clients. There I saw other concerns with regard to body pains. For example, there was one client who was recovering from an accident that affected his walking ability. Others were there to avail of the mentioned massage services. Like me, there were others who were there in the hope of finding a solution to recurring machine pains.

To be honest, I had second thoughts in availing physiotherapy services. I feared that they would diagnose me with a condition that I would not be able to comprehend. I also did not feel like having regular scheduled exercises. But my friends and family members suggested that I do go to Middle Park. In the clinic, I was first subjected to tests and was given a diagnosis. Employees in Middle Park told me that such is necessary make sure that the treatments and sessions I would be subjected to suits me. Every client, including me, was given a manual wherein the movement exercises prescribed is enumerated. In the same manual are information with regard to my condition and all the advices that are geared towards the betterment of clients.

Only the best results are given by Middle Park. What I liked most about this clinic is that other than reducing the occurrences of my leg cramps, they also equipped me with the knowledge and skills so that I can better manage myself during occurrences. They often encouraged clients to live a better lifestyle because indeed prevention is better than cure. The positive results are assured because of the competitive practitioners in their clinic.

It was a good thing that I considered and did go to consult about my cramps. It turns out that frequent episodes are indeed related to bad lifestyle practices which I step by step changed in order to not shock my body. The clinic was very helpful in prescribing movements and in giving advices on a per case basis. My leg cramps are long gone and so are my bad thoughts about physiotherapy. Still, I regularly visit for check-ups, on site exercises and full body massages. I advise those who experience body pain not only rely mainly on internet recommendations. Professional treatments are still better.

7 Tips to Colouring Your Own Hair

Many individuals love having their hairs coloured to add a certain pizzazz to their personality and fashion sense. However, there are some of us who are averse to the idea of going to a hair salon for blonde hair colouring and as such they often do it themselves. While there clearly is nothing wrong about do-it-yourself hair colouring, if you are not careful, then you might end up going to the hair salon to have it fixed. So, while you may have excellent hair colour ideas but are not really confident about your level of skill, then it is still best to seek the services of a professional. But if you really are bent on colouring your own hair, here are 7 tips you may want to consider.

  1. Keep it simple.  One of the biggest mistakes people have when they attempt to colour their hair is the choice of the wrong colour. If you think you can easily jump from a redhead to metallic platinum, then you are simply risking damaging your hair. Hair colours that change several notches within the colour spectrum often require multiple treatments or processes. This is best left to a professional. I learned that for best results, it is a lot better to colour your hair within to shades of your hair’s current colour, whether you’re going lighter or darker. To do this, you need to visit your favourite hair colour store and get a box that have the colour of the hair dye outside of the packaging. Choose one that closely matches the colour of your hair. Then, choose the hair dye that is about 2 shades darker or lighter from the original hair colour.
  2. Always have adequate supply of hair dye.  Some people think that getting a box of their chosen hair dye should be enough to cover their crowning glory. Unfortunately, if you are not careful, you might run out of pigments even before you’re done halfway with your hair. I really am not sure if you believe this but the general rule that most hair colour specialists observe is to make the shoulder as the basis for determining the number of boxes you’ll need. For instance, if your hair doesn’t normally extend beyond your shoulders, then a box will do. However, if your hair extends well below your shoulders, having an extra box won’t hurt as you can always use it the next time if in case you didn’t use it.
  3. Always start with a strand test.  I personally know someone who coloured her hair with a truly outrageous colour that resulted in her getting it fixed by a professional. As a matter of rule, in pretty much the same way as we first test the makeup we just bought on our hands, it is best to perform a test strand before jumping right in to colour your hair. It is best to test your hair dye on a few strands of hair that you have trimmed. Or, you can apply it on some strands of hair that are hidden from view. This way, if you don’t like the result, at least you can still hide it. Don’t make the same mistake as many did.
  4. Try colouring your hair naked.  I know this may sound crazy but colouring your hair can really be a messy prospect. Some DIYers have claimed colouring their hair completely naked. If this is not your thing, make sure to wear old clothes that you clearly don’t want to wear anymore. It should be a button-front shirt so you’re not going to slide it through your head especially when it is time for you to rinse the chemicals off your hair. You can also place plastic sheets like garbage bags over the floor and over items that may be splashed with the dye. Additionally, it’s a lot easier to clean up after.
  5. Don’t squeeze from the bottle.  Instead of squirting the dye onto your hair, it’s better to use a colour brush to apply the dye onto your hair. It’s less messy and more precise. At any rate, you’ll be able to put on a better colour for your hair.
  6. Always start from the roots.  It is very crucial to start your hair colouring at the roots of your hair. From there, you can then gently and meticulously comb through your hair to distribute the dye. You can work in 4 to 6 sections at a time to achieve a more professional look, like those in the salons.
  7. Always have 2 mirrors to work with.  It is important to use 2 mirrors: one in front and one in the back so you will have a better chance of applying the hair dye a lot more efficiently and you don’t miss any sections.

These are just 7 tips which I can personally guarantee will help you achieve a more professional hair colouring, the DIY way. Again, if you’re not confident about it, just head out to your favourite hair salon and save yourself the hassle of all that prep work and other issues.

How to Achieve Your Ideal Body Weight for a Healthier You

Many individuals take for granted the kilograms or the pounds that they see reflected in their bathroom scales. For some it is just numbers showing how heavy they are. Unfortunately, many still fail to recognize the different diseases that have been shown to be directly related to weight abnormalities. Being underweight, overweight, or obese is not a disease in themselves but are important risk factors in the development of other health conditions. This is why experts always recommend achieving and maintaining an ideal weight as an important objective for healthier bodies.

Underweight is often implicated in malnutrition and other metabolic abnormalities. Overweight, especially, obesity, has been implicated in the development of hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol levels, cancer, infertility, back pain, skin infections, gastric ulcers, and gallstones. Whether you believe these to be true or not, there is nothing harmful in achieving and maintaining an ideal body weight.

Here’s how.

Understand and Compute for Your Ideal Body Weight

While Body Mass Index, or BMI, is not the only measurement tool used in the identification of weight problems, experts agree that it provides a reasonable estimate of the fatness of your body. However, it does not give you the whole picture especially when talking about the distribution of fat in your body as well as the relative risk that you may have in relation to the different diseases associated with weight abnormalities. Nevertheless, it gives a reasonable estimate of how much fat is present in your body. Other tools used to provide and estimation of weight problems include body fat percentage and the waits-to-hip ratio.

To compute for your BMI, take your weight in kilograms and divide this with the squared value of your height in meters. For example if you weigh 100 kilograms and stand 1.7 meters tall, this gives you a BMI of 34.6 (100 ÷ 2.89). A BMI of 34.6 will indicate that you have Class I obesity. A BMI of less than 18.5 is classified as underweight while a BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 is already considered overweight. BMIs higher than 40.0 is Class III obesity. What you would like to see is a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9. This is the BMI that will show that you have the ideal body weight.

Your BMI is just a rough estimate of your current weight status. For more accurate ideal body weight computations, you can use online ideal body weight calculators. For example, given the above situation and you are a 35-year old female, your ideal body weight should be 60.8 kilograms if you use the Robinson formula. The same situation will produce an ideal body weight of 62.6 kilograms on Miller formula. The problem is that because the result is very precise you will have to be very strict in your weight normalization activities.

Perform Fun and Enjoyable Exercises

Knowing your ideal body weight and BMR is one thing. Doing something to make the necessary adjustments is another. And while conventional wisdom will tell you to hit the gym immediately, this is not necessarily ideal. What is more important is to choose activities or exercises that you enjoy doing. The key point to understand is that the exercise regimen should be fun and enjoyable in order for it to be successful. However, if you have absolute self-control, then hitting the gym will definitely bring the results you want a lot faster. Otherwise, running or jogging or even biking at least 30 minutes every day should help you get on track. Why not join a dance class or even go swimming? Do something that you truly enjoy, increase the intensity and the frequency, and you should be able to shed off those excess weight.

Watch What and How Much you are Eating

Exercise alone will not get you the body weight that you are aiming for. Physical exercises should also be complemented with sensible dieting. You don’t have to starve yourself or skimp on your favorite foods. What is important is portion control with due diligence in finding out the number of calories in each portion. The trick is to put in less calories in your body than what it is using. What you want to achieve is to eat fewer calories than what your body actually needs, beyond its essential functions, of course. For example if your basal metabolic rate is 2,500 kcal, then don’t eat more than that. Take in more fruits and vegetables and none of the fried junk foods that you may be fond of. Additionally, avoid as much as possible sugary beverages.

Achieving an ideal body weight is often difficult. However, maintaining it is doubly hard because you will have to make diet and exercise as an integral part of your weight management efforts.

Understanding the Connection between Sleep and Health

Many individuals take sleep for granted. For them, sleep is nothing more than the practice of closing one’s eyes and trying to shut off everything else around them so that they will feel much more relaxed. Unfortunately, many people do not understand the unique and often complicated sleep and health correlation. While everyone might be correct in assuming that sleep is one good way to allow the body to rest after a very tiring day, there simply is too much about sleep that many do not fully understand when it comes to its effects on general health and well-being.

In order for you to fully appreciate the importance of sleep on health and wellbeing, it is important to understand a few things about the whole process of sleeping altogether. Sleep is composed of 5 different stages, 4 of which are progressive while the 5th is an entirely different phenomenon altogether. Stages 1 and 2 are considered light to moderate sleep where you can be aroused or awakened. The blissful sleep or deep sleep occurs in Stages 3 and 4. Here, you will feel more relaxed and all of your vital bodily functions go into a hypoactive mode. By stage 5 however, everything goes limp but your brain goes into hyperdrive. This is why experts call this stage the REM stage for Rapid Eye Movement. Now, the whole process of going from Stage 1 to 5 takes about 90 to 120 minutes. This means that every night you will have about 4 to 5 cycles. However, keep in mind that REM Stage will usually take a lot longer the deeper into the night you sleep. This means, lesser of the Stages 3 and 4 benefits and more of the Stage 5 (REM) brain activity.

The question now is why brain activity would be increased during REM sleep. As it turns out, researchers have found that this is the perfect time for the brain to detoxify, to remove toxic byproducts that may have accumulated the whole day. A few studies have also revealed that it is during REM sleep that the brain is trying to sort through the mountain of information gathered throughout the day and determine which ones need to be stored in the different memory cells of the brain. Some scientists believe that this is the basis for the dreams that all humans experience. REM sleep is thus important in boosting cognitive performance and functioning as well as help protect the brain against plaque formation that can usually be seen in neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. It is for this reason that memory recall, critical thinking, logical thinking, and problem solving processes are enhanced with greater amounts of sleep.

During stages 3 and 4, scientists consider it as the deepest and most restorative stage of sleep. It is during this time when your blood pressure decreases to a healthy baseline and your breathing becomes slower yet deeper to allow for more oxygen to fill the lungs. Growth hormones are released from the pituitary gland to stimulate the body into building cells and tissues. Remember what your mom said when you were younger about how going to bed early will help you grow taller? It’s not necessary that you grow tall again but the point is that your body is constantly building, growing, and developing cells and tissues to replace those that have been lost due to aging and exposure to harmful environmental conditions. In short, it is your body’s way to repair and heal itself.

During sleep, your hunger hormones are also regulated. Lesser sleep increases ghrelin levels which should make you feel hungry. More sleep increases leptin levels which makes you feel full. So, the more sleep that you get, the more leptin levels present in your brain, the greater is the chance that you will be eating less because your brain is telling you your tummy is still full. However, if ghrelin levels predominate, then you will simply be craving for more food even if your tummy is already overstretched. This can play a significant role in the development of obesity and its many associated risk conditions.

There are numerous other health benefits of sleep. The point that needs to be understood is that sleep is a fundamental activity of the brain that affects every single cell, tissue, and organ in the body. Just like a device that needs recharging every now and then, sleep is the body’s way of shutting itself down, except for a few vital organs, in order to allow other more important physiologic and cognitive processes to be completed. This is why after a good night’s rest, you definitely feel a lot better, more energized to face the new day.