At bedtime when we were little kids, my mom often said it was “Time for the Sandman to visit“. According to legend, the Sandman would come by and sprinkle sand in your eyes, forcing them to close, thus prompting sleep.
I have to admit that this creeped me out! I mean it wasn’t as if the Sandman was going to leave a dollar under my pillow, like the Tooth Fairy. We’ve all been to the beach and getting sand in your eyes isn’t a very pleasant experience, certainly not something you want to think about while trying to go to sleep!
I did a little research on the “Sandman”, and what my mom failed to impart to me, or perhaps I didn’t hear, is that the the Sandman is a kindly figure, and the sand he sprinkled in your eyes was a very fine magical dust meant to help you fall into a sleep full of wonderful dreams. What a better image than the one my five year old self conjured up!
Based on the latest sleep research, we should all be welcoming the Sandman. Here are a few great reasons to catch some more ZZZZZZs:
Weigh Less: Dieters who get enough sleep lose more fat, whereas dieters who don’t sleep enough lose more muscle mass
Live Longer: More deaths occur in those who get fewer than 5 hours of sleep than those who get adequate sleep
Curb Inflammation: People who sleep fewer than 6 hours a night have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins, which are markers for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and premature aging
Boost Immunity: People who get fewer than 7 hours of sleep may be 3 times more likely to catch a cold compared to those who get adequate sleep
Ward off Depression: Getting a good nights sleeps helps reduce anxiety and level-out your mood
There are plenty more good reasons to conjure up your best image of the Sandman and head off to the Land of Nod. What will you do tonight to relax and get some extra sleep?