ifIknew is a health initiative for young adults that uses a multi media approach, including social media and in person programs, to address the contemporary issues that impact the well-being, self-image, careers, and relationships of people in their 20's and 30's.

If I Knew is a prevention education project that raises awareness about risky behaviors that can profoundly impact lives.

Night Night. Don’t forget to turn off your brain.

yawning-babyBrains are like anything else in your body; they need activity, and they need rest. All too often we are going, going, going, without letting our brains get the beauty sleep they need. Sometimes this comes in the form of tossing and turning, sometimes we’re up too late working, sometimes we’re up too late partying, but all of those activities have one thing in common: they don’t include sleeping.

Sleep is an amazing thing. There’s a reason why so many living things do it. Not only does it recharge your brain and your body, it also relaxes you and makes you more productive. Sure, we can try to substitute getting enough sleep with all kinds of tricks: coffee, cold showers, hot showers, exercise, taping our eyelids open- but none are as effective as the real thing.

But it’s not enough to just hit the pillow for a few hours a night. Research suggests it’s a little more complicated than that. Sleep is at its most optimal for your body when you are in a dark, quiet, temperate place,and (perhaps the most daunting) when your brain has already begun the shutting down process. This means it’s not ideal to watch television or be on the computer right before you go to sleep. Eyes and brains need time to shift from one thing to another, so if you go straight from your laptop to sleep, you may be missing a step.

 So let’s give it a shot and treat our bodies like the miracles they are. An hour before bed, shut all those electronic devices off (yep, iPhones and Kindles, too), or at least put them away. It’s scary, but let’s try it for a week. You never know, you might feel better.

Check out another post on sleep, http://www.ifiknew.org/?p=1614.