If we think about what constitutes healthy living, we often underestimate the impact of the mind. However, our general well-being and quality of life are strongly dependent on what is going on in our heads. In order to aid relaxation, you should always remember to take breaks. There are many methods of conscious relaxation, with yoga, pilates, qigong or meditation all helping to relax. Just ten to twenty minutes of relaxation a day are sufficient. Sleep is also vital for our body, as we process the day’s occurrences while asleep. The burden on our spine is relieved, while metabolism and digestion also actively take place.
Sleep problems can have different impacts on our bodies. In the event of problems, we secrete less of the hormone leptin, which aids metabolism. If our blood contains large amounts of this hormone, our brain lets our body know that we don’t need any food at the moment. However, if we suffer from sleep problems, the production of ghrelin increases. This is also a metabolism hormone and has the opposite effect to leptin, telling our bodies: we haven’t eaten enough! Sleep problems therefore cause hunger and we eat more than we need. In the long term, this can result in weight gains.
Humans need between seven and nine hours of sleep. Our own bodies determine just how many hours we need. Our own disposition also determines when we need sleep. Some of us are morning people and have no problem getting up at 5 a.m. Others are night owls, being most productive at 10 p.m.