We need sleep, this is an undeniable fact and something I have no doubt you've heard before. This is because sleep has such an impact on our overall health and wellbeing. And yes, I understand that getting 8 hrs is sometimes difficult, but there has been a great deal of research proving how sleep can significantly affects a number of critical aspects of our lives, not just feeling groggy and lethargic.
- Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who'd slept after learning a task did better on tests later.
- Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.
- Safety: Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.
- Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do.
- Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.
- Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body's killer cells.
Full article from Harvard Health
Only 1.5% of the population is genetically wired to function on 3-4 hrs of sleep, so when your friends or colleagues say they do just fine on little sleep, they are likely suffering. We require 7-9hrs to have a fully restorative sleep.
Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos (world's wealthiest man) says it's good for Amazon's shareholders for him to get 8 hrs of sleep because less than that his decision making is skills decrease in quality by 5-20%. "My value is entirely dependent on the quality of my decisions."
So let’s focus on our sleep this month.
I have added some questions to go through to review your current sleep state and some simple homework you can do to improve your sleeping habits!
Download the sleep questions
Reflect on your current sleep routine
Focus on creating a bedtime routine that works for you
Try to sleep 7-9 hours every night
Take note on how you feel with and without sleep
Focus on this for the next month.