From night owls to early birds, we all agree that sleep makes us feel better. After a good night’s rest, when one wakes up renewed the next morning, he or she is ready to take on the day’s challenges.
However, most of us do not think beyond that. The believe that the only purpose of sleep is to give the body some rest after a long day of work is simply underrated.
In fact, it is our attitude towards sleep that is wrong.
We proudly boast about how little we sleep. Be it an all-nighter hangout at a friend’s place or simply juggling between late work hours, we always say sleep can go.
Long story short, we do not prioritize our sleep because of the insane idea that instead of wasting time snoozing, something productive can be done.
This thinking has led us in the midst of a sleep deprivation crisis.
What people do not realize is that this cultural dismissal of sleep is not only compromising our health and quality of life. It also undermining our decision-making ability, our relationships and most importantly our happiness.
The truth is that sleep has a direct impact on how we look, feel and perform both mentally and physically.
Perhaps the number one reason we should start prioritizing our sleep is that it makes us look and feel younger. The hormones and enzymes responsible for cell regeneration are most active at night.
Also, absorption of nutrients to the skin is at its peak while we sleep which is why top brands advertise applying their products before going to bed.
Beauty sleep is the only thing that supermodels do not compromise on.
With that being said, shouldn’t you do the same if you want to look ravishing and fresh in the morning?
Get to the Top
Quality sleep leads to better decision-making ability, clarity of thoughts and improved cognitive and intellectual performance. All of them are the qualities of a good leader.
When you are having enough sleep you are more focused and can concentrate better.
Ariana Huffington, the founder, and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post improved her sleep from 4 hours a night to a solid 8 hours. She is now a sleep advocate,
According to her, this change has made her much more present in her life and more joyful. It makes her a better leader because she can look ahead with clarity.
Still according to Huffington, burning oneself out to succeed is an illusion.
Microsoft founder and CEO Bill Gates also sleeps 8 hours in a day. The Ex-CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt sleeps approximately 8.5 hours every night. He views it as a competitive advantage rather than time wasted.
So, learn a lesson from these successful business people and “sleep your way to the top” as Huffington proudly puts it.
Sleep has tremendous effects on our health and wellbeing. We all have experienced the fatigue, short temper and lack of focus that follows a poor night’s sleep.
But it has much more serious consequences than this.
Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, weakened immune system and cardiovascular diseases to name a few.
It also leads to anxiety and depression.
According to research, even getting an hour less than the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per night can shorten lifespan.
Get in Shape
Perhaps the easiest way to get in shape is to sleep. Sleep regulates metabolism, rebuilds muscles, reduces fat storage and promotes fat loss.
On the other hand, not getting enough sleep will not only make you grumpy and short tempered but also fat.
According to research, sleeping less than 7 hours a night will make you gain weight even if you are on a weight loss diet.
When you are sleep deprived, you feel hungry as your stomach feels empty even after a normal meal.
As a result, you select bigger portions and end up eating more than you should be.
What is even worse is that it also increases your cravings for junk and fatty foods.
Thus, the next time you feel like dismissing your sleep, think about all the fat you will accumulate as a result.
Be A Winner
Sleep is known to improve your physical performance. When you sleep your body is recharged.
The more you work out, the more sleep you need to recharge yourself.
If you do not sleep enough you will feel lethargic and will not be unable to cope with your physical exercises.
A well-rested body has higher levels of energy. That is why athletes never compromise on their sleep.
A Stanford University research tracked college football players for 7 to 8 weeks. It found that players who tried to sleep at least 10 hours a night had improved their average sprint time and stamina. They also had less daytime fatigue.
Similar results have been seen on studies tracking tennis players and swimmers.
So, whether it’s our mental or physical performance, whether it’s how we look or feel, sleep is at the core of our success.