Importance of sleep
“I only need 6 hours of sleep a night and manage fine.”
“I had pulled an “all-nighter” last night”
“It’s nothing, I just didn’t sleep well last night”
“We all get plenty of sleep when I’m dead”
“Good sleep is a luxury I can’t afford.”
“I’ve always been a bad sleeper”
Just some of the things I’ve heard from clients, family, friends and yes…have even said myself.
If you were to take a moment and prioritise the most important things for your health and wellness, what would go at the top? What would probably sit at the bottom?
Firstly let me point out the obvious,
Sleep isn’t sexy. There, I said it. It’s difficult to market, it takes us away from the things we want to do and feels like a pain in the neck that we somehow have to fit among the other 10,000 things we have to every 24 hours to balance work and family.
However let me tell you what is sexy…
The Million-Pound Drug that Transforms Lives in 3 days
So there’s this drug,
Every time I take it – my risk of obesity, diabetes, amnesia, alzheimers, depression, anxiety goes down through the floor faster than any other drug that’s ever come to the market to date.
As well as this, it makes me 20% faster at everything I do, 14% more accurate, increase my energy, mood, confidence, sex drive, desire, zest. And guess what. It has zero side affects.
How much is that pill worth? How often would you take it? Me personally, with every single meal every hour.
But it’s free. And it’s available to you right now.
It’s a good night sleep.
Although not taking it every night has dire consequences.
Your badge of honour
Just through a lack of sleep we can succumb to other symptoms such as obesity, diabetes, loss of libido and even memory loss. If the quality of our sleep is in danger then so is our immune system. Some studies have shown that just by experiencing one night of sleep deprivation you can become as insulin resistant as a type 2 diabetic!
If you look at the list of symptoms I have just mentioned and spread that over months, years or even decades you can see that a lack of sleep is the quickest way to significantly reduce your health span.
So what happened?
Children, a demanding career, perhaps a little ignorance on the importance of sleep? After all, how many of us went through the first 2 years of your child’s life without sleep and are still here to tell the tale? My body still shivers when I look back but hey, I still did. I’m still functional..
So how much are we really missing out?
Before the lightbulb was invented some research suggests that people were sleeping up to 10 hours a night. When the lightbulb was invented, it went down to 8 hours. When surveys are conducted nowadays on how long people sleep; the average is 7 to 7 and a half hours, meaning many of us are getting up to 30% less recovery time than our bodies are technically used to.
Yet if you do anything for too long, it naturally becomes your base line doesn’t it? It becomes the norm and we forget what the other side looks like.
Your body clock/ circadian rhythm
Scientists at Colorado State University in 2008 reported that 98% or more people operate according to 24-hour patterns. This means our circadian rhythms (our body clock) are vital to abide by even down to a genetic level.
Let me give you just one example of this:
Depending on the light available to us throughout the day, all the chemistry of our biochemistry can alter hour by hour. For us to feel sleepy and sleep we must be able to release a chemical called melatonin. The moment we are breaking from a sleep pattern and working when tired, we unbalance our body’s circadian rhythm and disrupt our body’s ability to release melatonin. Instead of relying on the sun to alter our melatonin like our ancestors, artificial light is consistently throwing us slightly off balance.
Move over morning routines, I‘m starting this evening!
You know from reading any self-help book and listening to any podcast on personal growth… You don’t have delve in for too long before the concept of a morning routine pops up. It’s absolutely a commonality that many high achievers have in common. But how many of us have an evening routine? What one thing could you do this evening that would set you up for an incredible morning and a day of magic?
In conclusion, I’d love to know what would happen if you moved sleep up within your priorities list.
What would life look like if you were 20% faster in everything you did? After all, that’s the equivalent of getting 6 days work done in your current 5 let alone the emotional benefits!
What would happen if just for this week, we began to replace the badge of honour that used to say “I’m still functioning despite my lack of sleep” and replaced it with “I sleep because I care.”?
After all, Everyone benefits when you’re a happier and healthier you.
Here’s some help
Want some proven tools to help you clean up your “sleep hygiene”?
Download my personal guide to a great night sleep below.