If you want to be your best self, you better get some sleep! That’s because sleep is an essential part of human health that helps regulate the body’s systems and update the brain.
The real question is are you getting enough? If you skimp on sleep you’re not alone. While it’s recommended that adults receive 7-9 hours of sleep every night, only about 60% of Americans actually do. It’s easy to see why…
When you’re hustling towards your goals and working to tick off ever growing to-do lists, it’s tempting to pull late nighters and clock up extra hours. This habit may give you a short-term win, but it could harm you long-term. Sleep deficiency is a real problem that affects your performance, your health, and your wellbeing.
So if you regularly feel exhausted and know you’re almost running on empty, keep reading. In this article you’ll discover the dramatic impact on your life and wellbeing that you can expect when you catch a few more ZZZZZs.
We’ll also share some top tips to help you get enough quality sleep – so you can show up as your best self day after day.
- Improved heart health
Your body uses sleep time to rest, repair, and recuperate – just one of the reasons why sufficient sleep is key.
Quality sleep has also been linked to improved overall health, including a decreased risk of obesity, stroke, and diabetes. Its effect on heart health, however, can’t be overstated. Sleep deficiency has been linked to higher blood pressure and risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. For optimal heart health, it’s important to get the right amount of sleep for you.
- Better productivity
You can’t do your best work or be your best self if you’re struggling to concentrate and your mind’s a fog. But that’s what lack of sleep does… it negatively impacts your focus and concentration, which can decrease your work efficiency. Tiredness makes it hard to focus on a task or get into your deep work zone. If you can’t concentrate or focus you won’t finish tasks on time and that can knock your schedule out and force you to play catch-up.
Tiredness also causes mental fatigue which can impede decision making and reduce your response times.
Sleep rests your mind as well as your body. So get enough sleep to give you the mental fuel you need to keep living your life to the full.
- More creativity
Your ability to create has a big impact on your life.
Switch on your creative muscles and you can solve bigger problems, create unique products, and explore the depths of your imagination. It’s how creativity as a skill can help you with your goals, your career, your business… in fact every part of your life.
There’s proof that abstract problem-solving and reasoning skills are heightened after a good night’s sleep. In fact, creativity is often at its peak early in the morning, as close to REM sleep as possible. So don’t undermine your ability to be creative by starving yourself of sleep.
In fact, sleep may actually help deliver the exact answer you’ve been looking for. Ever ‘slept’ on a problem only to wake up with the solution? With your subconscious free to roam free when you’re asleep, you never know what you’ll wake up with.
- Boosted mood
Inadequate sleep has been found to increase anxiety levels, feelings of laziness, and irritability. In fact, 45 percent of American adults report that they feel more stressed when they get less sleep. High-quality sleep can have restorative effects on an individual’s mood, making it easier to cope with change and new problems. This can make it easier to not only have a more positive outlook, but also produce higher-quality work and develop closer relationships.
How to get better sleep
Want to know how to sleep better and deeper and wake up more refreshed? Here are some top tips to help you do just that.
- Reflect on your day. After a busy, full on day take 5 minutes to reflect on what’s happened and how it’s made you feel. Remember to celebrate your wins and get clear on the lessons you’ve learned. Closing out your day with a gratitude practice is another powerful way to shift your focus from negative to positive thoughts and get your head space in the right place to relax.
- Unwind. Stress can be a major sleep inhibitor. Take control of your worries and find your preferred method of self-care. Meditating, reading, or journaling your thoughts can all help your mind and body relax and get ready for sleep.
- Get comfortable. Lack of comfort is one of the most commonly reported sleep disruptions for adults. If you struggle sleeping through the night, keep your bedroom cool, invest in a better mattress and use blankets that will keep you cozy, but not too hot.
- Keep your room quiet. Whether you have a snoring partner, noisy neighbors, or a nocturnal pet, it’s crucial that your sleeping environment is noise-free. Use some comfortable earplugs or a white noise machine to cancel out any distractions that might prevent you from falling asleep.
- Establish a sleep routine. It’s important to keep your sleep cycles on a consistent pattern. Try not to stay up late or sleep in too much over the weekends, and definitely don’t rely on the end of the workweek to catch up on your ZZZ’s. Missing an hour or two every now and then can have a surprising impact on your body’s rest and sleep cycle.
While these recommendations are important, it’s crucial to adapt them to your own sleep needs. So how are you going to cater these tips to lead a healthier life? Or, what steps have you already taken to get more restful sleep? Let us know in the comments below!