Do you snooze for an entire hour before you actually wake up?
Do you feel lethargic during the day while at work?
Do you watch television on your comfy couch until you are unable to stay awake?
Does the scrolling of the Facebook and Twitter feeds keep you up till 3:00am at night?
Normalized Daily Sleep Deprivation
Long term inadequate and proper sleep can wreck havoc to both your mental and physical health. It directly affects the quality of your waking day, productivity levels, creativity levels, appetite, moods, immune system, and even your ability to control your weight.
You can work as much or as hard as you want, but without proper sleep, it may all be considered ineffective. (read: not awesome!)
Every living breathing creature of this Earth needs sleep, even if it means possibly being eaten by other animals who are on the hunt at night. So, there must be very good logical reasons why we need to sleep up to a third of our lives.
When your body goes to sleep, it does not mean you have “shut down your computer” and you just lie there unconscious.
During sleep, your brain is as active as it is while it’s awake. It is busy overseeing biological maintenance within your brain and body to keep everything running in tip top condition, preparing you for the following day.
I’m going to go over 3 very strong reasons why you should check your sleep habits and make sure you spend adequate time in slumberland tonight.
During sleep your muscles and cells literally heal themselves. Atheletes can attest to it. Doctors in hospitals always say “The best thing to do now is rest.”
The human growth hormone begins to be released into the blood after about 3 hours after falling asleep and during REM sleep. Proper bedtime has a strong profound effect on muscle growth and physical well being. Poor quality rest can negatively impact human growth hormone levels, and in turn, affect your recovery rate. In fact, it would also be important to keep in mind that the difference between 6 hours of sleep to 8 hours can be astounding. The body needs enough time to repair the body from the 3 hour mark. Chronic sleep deprivation can compound the negative effects over the long term to the point of diseases even.
Another good reason to sleep well is memory consolidation. During sleep your brain takes everything you have seen and done during the day. It goes through the experiences, looks for patterns and connects the subconscious dots to turn them into memories.
You may find that if you don’t sleep well, your memory is foggy and recalling things make take way more effort than you expected. This is especially evident if you have the bad habit of sleeping late every night for a longer term.
Having good sleeping habits could mean the fine line between making or breaking it in our knowledge based world. Prioritize your sleep for a clear mind to tackle all those daily mental challenges.
Inadequate sleep leave people feeling irritable, short tempered, and easily stressed.
Cortisol, commonly called the “stress hormone” is secreted during times of fear or stress. Unfortunately, sleep loss also results in an increase of cortisol levels the following day.
This means that without enough sleep, insignificant things that normally isn’t a big deal can cause you to lose it. The whole day could snowball into one huge mental breakdown. All because you haven’t been having enough shuteye.
Being well-rested, on the other hand, will help to maintain your composure.
You’ll naturally feel more optimistic, patient, and relaxed even if nothing around you changed. Which means you’ll have an easier time coping with all of life’s little setbacks.
The mental clarity will allow you to get back up with enough expendable willpower to spare to continue on pursuing awesomeness.
Sleep better tonight
Parents always ensure their kids get enough sleep. They put them to bed by 9:30pm, dimming out the lights, and reading them bedtime stories.
Isn’t it interesting as we all become adults, we tend to gradually move proper recovery to the bottom of our priority list? Before we know it, we are habitually are trying to catch up with daytime naps, and going to work with a brain that can’t even do simple math.
Here are some tips on how to get a great night’s rest besides the obvious 8 hours. Allow yourself to maintain the most important vehicle on the planet, your body!
Develop a bedtime ritual
Decide in advance what your bed time ritual will be like, and give yourself about an hour to “shut down”. Dim the lights, set up some aromatherapy and put away all the gadgets.
Some activities I would recommend doing during that hour would be:
- reflecting on the day that passed
- planning the following day
- focusing on the clarity of your goals
Pull away from your screens
Blue light emitted from your television and gadgets slow or even halt the production of melatonin (the sleeping hormone) and literally hardwires your brain into thinking that it is still day time.
You will always believe that you are not sleepy when you are stuck in front of a screen. Constantly push it to 3:00am in the morning, and you can be sure your brain and body will be suffering from the effects of sleep deprivation.
Don’t drink alcohol or eat junk before going to sleep
When we sleep our bodies go into repair mode, and uses whatever nutrients we have supplied it with for the night.
If you dump alcohol and junk food into your body before you sleep, your body will not have the proper nutrients to fix up your body with! You’ll wake up the next day still feeling tired, hungry and wanting to sleep even more.
Make sure you go to sleep properly eaten and at a good early time, ready take on the following day with a body full of energy.
Know WHY you’re compulsively hooked to the screen, and courageously break the bad habit
It’s late at night and you’re in front of your social media feeds, scrolling down for the next post that only might be interesting.
Stop and imagine clearly to yourself the following morning, waking up with a heavy head and foggy brain, dragging yourself out of bed.
Ask yourself then: “Is my habit of clicking and scrolling causing me to suffer every morning?”, “Am I clicking compulsively because of the addictive design of Facebook/Twitter/Internet?”, “Is the blue light from my screen hypnotizing me to stay awake?”, “How nice would it be if I felt great first thing in the morning?”.
Be truthful with your answers, harness the willpower from within and pull yourself away from the addiction of late nights.
Give your body a break from the limitless amount of ‘infotainment’ and ‘auto-playing videos’.
Tonight, allow your body to do what it was meant to do at night – sleep.
If you had to sleep early regularly, what would your reasons be?
What techniques do you use to ensure you get a good night’s rest?
Comment below, and share it with somebody who you think might benefit from it!