I love my sleep. I love sleeping, napping, lounging, resting and just about anything that involves some sort of inactivity. Unfortunately like most of the things we love we don’t get to experience those things often. WSJ is quick to point out that we have no idea what we are doing when it comes to our sleep. They agree that our day is incredibly busy and believe it or not we aren’t that special. Apparently, most Americans aren’t getting enough sleep with an average of about 6 hours or less every single night. Something has got to change because I’m tired (literally) of feeling like my friend down below. Here is some advice and things to bear in mind.
Why is sleep important?
Umm… because. No, seriously it is possibly the single most important thing we can do to remain functional and overall healthy. Sleeping is your own personal reset button, so USE it. Sleeping pretty much allows the body to correct all the damage we have caused it throughout the day.
If you don’t sleep enough you are setting yourself up for failure. A sleep deprived body acts very similar to an intoxicated one. Motor skills are less accurate and overall less coordinated. Body responses are also more delayed. This hinders just about all of our daily activities especially learning, attention and retention. There is also even a high correlation between lack of sleep and increased body fats percentages. You are just asking your metabolism to give up one you. I was saw this documentary on the man that flew a hot air ballon across the world in the fastest time possible. Long story short, he sacrificed sleep to get to places faster. His body eventually collapsed and he went straight to sleep. All this sleep deprivation causes a delay in our processing skills and reflexes. He had a little bell to ring if he lost too much altitude. When it had rung as he was not piloting he recalls how he frantically jumped and climbed out of the hot air ballon basket. He describes that how out of pure luck he managed not to lose a grip on the basket and fall right out of the sky. He had slept towards the beginning of his trip and never once reacted that way but this time it was different because he was simply not himself
Sleep improves everything about us. It increases or creative and problem solving abilities as well as our attention. Sleep has been shown to affect athletic performance. Sleeping alleviates stress and improves our ability to tolerate stress. Sleeping even makes us healthier, people that sleep properly tend to get sick less often especially small things like a cold.
Napping is a great way to boost our productivity and ensure that we are not being less productive than we want to be. A nap must be deliberately taken and for a controlled amount of time. A nap is NOT more than 90 minutes long, you’re just sleeping at that point. Napping has been studied and certain naps are for certain scenarios which we must be aware of.
10-20 minutes is the golden rule. It will jumpstart your brain and give you that energy you were so laking a few minutes ago
30 minutes is a dangerous place to be. There is such a thing as sleep inertia, inertia is a lack of energy or movement in an object and sleep inertia is the process by which we actually slow down or make ourselves much more tired than we were to begin with.
60 minutes is a great place to feel well rested but you will feel slightly tired and grouchy it happens when we don’t sleep enough.
90 minutes. You might as well go to sleep, this is very light and non-deep sleep. Overall it causes more harm than good.
Things to remember don’t nap long it will cause more harm than good. Sleep deliberately and time your nap. Try to nap slightly seated up it will help prevent falling into deep-sleep and help avoid sleep inertia. Lastly, one should not be dreaming during naps, this is a sign of some heavy sleep deprivation.
- Track Your Sleep
- Be Consistent with sleeping patterns
- No Screens or TVs at night
- Read a book
- Sleep in a dark and cold space.
- Download a blue light filter like “f.lux”. It help protect your circadian rhythm.