We need sleep more than food.
Weird, but true. So all our good work at eating healthy food might not help as much as simply getting enough sleep. It’s vital for our health and to be more effective while we are awake.
How much sleep?
The study found that people slept 7-8 hours when allowed to sleep as much as they wanted to. Other studies have said that 7 hours is the magic number for health.
If you are getting less than 7 hours sleep a night, it is well worth it to try to make changes that will allow you to get 7 hours.
From the linked article:
“We continue to live by a remarkably durable myth: sleeping one hour less will give us one more hour of productivity. In reality, the research suggests that even small amounts of sleep deprivation take a significant toll on our health, our mood, our cognitive capacity and our productivity.”
So many of us try to skimp on sleep that it’s part of our culture. We are heroes if we work so hard that we get only 6 hours of sleep or less. Why is that? Do we really think that working more and more hours to the point of losing sleep is the best life? In many cases, it has been imposed on us by the demands of employers. But not always.
It’s important to look for ways to squeeze in at least an extra half an hour of sleep IMHO. Keep increasing your amount of sleep until you get to 7 hours. Make it not just a goal, but a priority & you may find that you are accomplishing the same amount of tasks, if not more, with much less stress. As the article says, we’ve lost touch with what it feels like to be fully awake.
The only way to do this is to go to bed earlier. Start about 45 minutes before you go to bed to “wind down.” Don’t work right up to the last minute or your mind won’t be able to slow down your thinking enough to sleep right away. Get off the computer, have a snack, watch a little tv, listen to music, or whatever relaxes you. Try to get a routine that signals your brain it’s time to sleep. Reading a book in bed helps quite a few people as long as it’s a boring book.
We try to get our kids on a good sleep schedule for their health and to do well in school–which actually works, by the way!
It’s time to do ourselves that same favor. Isn’t our health worth it?