It's Time to Get Some zzz's

Sleep is so vital to good health yet sadly it seems to now be seen as a weakness if you try your best to get enough sleep.

It's Time to Get Some zzz's
Photo by Brett Jordan / Unsplash

Sleep is so vital to good health yet sadly it seems to now be seen as a weakness if you try your best to get enough sleep. Have you ever been given a hard time for not being up at the crack of dawn to have your quiet time, do a workout, or even get to work early? Or what if you choose to go to bed by 9pm or even 10pm at night - are you teased for having a bedtime like a little kid? I feel like that’s become kind of commonplace for those things to happen and it’s pretty ridiculous considering how important it is to get a good night’s sleep.

Here are a couple of tidbits to show you how important it is…

When you miss an hour of sleep, it decreases your well-being, productivity, health, and ability to think.

One study suggests that losing 90 minutes of sleep can reduce daytime alertness by nearly one-third.

Sleepless driving can be just as dangerous as driving drunk…Four hours of sleep loss produces as much impairment as a six-pack of beer. An entire night of sleep loss is equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0.19 percent, which is double most legal limits for intoxication.

- from the book Are You Fully Charged by Tom Rath

Not getting enough sleep is not only bad for your health, it could be dangerous! Think about people in industries like air travel, trucking, or anything that requires a person to be fully alert - if those people aren’t getting enough sleep they’re putting people’s lives in danger.

Studies show that people need, on average, between 8-9 hours of sleep a night to be at their best the next day and to stay healthy. On average, Americans get closer to 6-7 hours of sleep per night though. And that deficit adds up. When you get less sleep per night than you should and that occurs on a regular basis, you’re not only not functioning at your best throughout the day, you’re lowering your immune system and you’re 5-6 times more likely to get sick with viruses that are going around.

Figure out what time you need to go to bed in order to be up in the morning by the time you need to start your day - if you need to be up by 7am in order to get to work on time, go to bed no later than 11pm. If you have trouble getting to sleep, there are things you can do to help yourself fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer.

  • Turn off your electronics an hour before bedtime.
  • Take melatonin and hour before bedtime.
  • Put on some relaxing music and dim the lights so your body and mind can relax and start to wind down.
  • Use white noise if you get distracted or awakened easily by outside noises.
  • Make sure your room is dark and doesn’t have lights shining in that will disturb you as you sleep.
  • Keep the temperature a little cooler than you keep it during the day - we sleep better when we’re cool and comfortable and not hot.

If you’ll do these things and do your best to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night, you’ll feel recharged the next day and you’ll have more energy and focus to take on the tasks you need to throughout your day. Add healthy eating to the mix and you’re doing your body a huge favor. :)