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Sleep is a lot like money; we all want it, it can help in so many ways, but it can be difficult to get.
It almost seems like everyone I talk to is tired. A few years ago I put the kibosh on making small talk with co-workers about being tired because it felt so non-unique. After all, we’re ALL tired! Right? So much so that it’s weird when you see someone that isn’t yawning every other second.
Not getting enough sleep once or twice per week isn’t that much of an issue, but consistently sleeping under 6 or 7 hours per night will start to take its toll on your life.
Getting adequate sleep every night is high on my priority list but I know there are folks out there who balk at the idea of making it a priority. If you’re unconvinced, here are just a few of the ways your life can be negatively impacted by a lack of sleep:
You become forgetful
Are you falling victim to the mind-blank? This forgetfulness could stem from not getting enough sleep for the previous few nights. By not getting enough rest you’re working your brain too hard, and you start to forget things. The science speaks for itself.
You start turning up late every morning
What happens when you wake up every morning feeling more and more tired? You turn off your alarms and go back to sleep because your body literally can’t wake itself up. As a result, you oversleep and show up late. You don’t need me to tell you that lateness isn’t a quality most bosses welcome. Hell, even if you own your own business, waking up late can cause you to spend your whole day trying to catch up! Falling out of love with your job is one thing, but persistent tardiness, even at a job you DO love, sends a message to your superiors and clients that you’re not fully committed.
You lose confidence
Not sleeping? Look out for the dreaded panda eyes. You know what I’m talking about, the dark patches of skin under your eyes that cause even random strangers to start remarking that you “look tired.” (Which, even when well-intentioned, can kinda sting!) Dark circles can leave you feeling pretty down about the way you look. Thankfully, the antidote is pretty simple (SLEEP, girl. Sleep!) and there are even things like the SiO smoothing patches to help counteract the damage that’s already been done!
Your concentration goes out the window
Have you ever tried concentrating on something when you’re tired? Honestly, it’s one of the hardest things you can do. All your brain is telling you is to close your eyes and get some sleep. (Or, you’re just thinking about how tired you are, which takes your focus away from everything else that you should be doing!)
This has consequences in your professional life, but also in your personal life. In a workplace, you can’t afford to switch off and lose concentration. A momentary lapse of concentration is all it takes to do something potentially catastrophic at work. (Not to be hyperbolic but f’real. Sometimes poorly worded emails are a catastrophe in MY book!) On a personal level, your relationships can suffer if you’re unable to pay attention during conversations because you’re so dang drowsy.
Your ache and pains increase
The less we sleep, the less physically able we become. It seems like a logical conclusion, but the more chance you get to sleep, the better your body will be the next day. Whether you exercise or overdo it in life, if you continue to push the boundaries of what your body is capable of, you need to match it evenly with rest. After a while, we start to brush off aches and pains as something that can’t be solved, but the fact is that most things can be fixed with more rest. Resources like health.com can help with other ideas for treating aches and pains, but the moral of the story is simple, you need to rest up, even more than you think you do.
You start exhibiting risk-taking behavior
Here’s an article that looks at sleep deprivation and how it affects risk-taking behavior. While the study discusses teen sleeping habits specifically, I think it’s an interesting look at the cause and effect lack of sleep can have on one’s life. Unfortunately, turning to stimulants, like caffeine, to get through a rough day, is certainly not a uniquely teenage behavior. Worth a read!
Convinced you should be sleeping more but not sure HOW? Here are some helpful tips from the article mentioned above:
- Set regular bedtime hours.
- Create a peaceful and device-free environment (screens off about an hour prior to turning in).
- Take a warm bath or shower, not too hot though as that raises the body temperature and it can take a while to cool back down.
- Keep the routine going throughout the week and weekend.
- Both physical activity and eating healthy foods has been linked to a more zzz’s.
–From How Teen Sleep Deprivation Leads to Risk-Taking Behaviors, Psychology Today (Jun 1, 2018)
I’m curious, how many hours of sleep do you normally get each night? Do you find yourself falling victim to any of these issues when you start to sleep less? Or do you function just fine without a lot of zzz’s? Let me know!