Our lives are fast. Time does not wait for us and we do not wait for the time. Neither can catch up to each other. There are days when you have so much work and tasks to do that sleep feels like an impossible reality. You have to submit the report to your boss in the office, you have to pick up groceries from the market on your way home, you have to read a bedtime story to your kid and see that they complete their homework. There isn’t enough time left and you end up going to bed late and getting up early. And then there are days when you are determined to get your eight hours of sleep at any cost. You don’t mess around with unnecessary work and end up getting a good night’s sleep.
Sometimes sleep seems like a perfectly fine waste of time. Why should you spend close to one-third of your life sleeping when instead you could gear up and do something more useful? You could, after all, achieve great success in those lost hours. Not sleeping should be the thing responsible for your body, right?
This is the part where your brain tricks you. Sleep is essential for forming memories. It is responsible for your brain’s physiological maintenance. When your body is asleep, your brain is still awake acting like a mental janitor by clearing out all of the junk that has accumulated as a result of your daily thinking.
Here are a few reasons why should you make sleep a priority
- Fatigue: Sleep deprivation results in fatigue, low energy throughout the day, and poor concentration. You have an irritable mood and are inattentive.
- Immunity: Your immune system is more likely to break down when you have burned the candle at both ends. It can cause abnormal thyroid function and growth hormone secretion.
- Prediabetes: Sleep deprivation causes impaired glucose tolerance, or higher than normal blood sugar levels.
- Stress: Not having enough sleep causes elevated levels of cortisol (stress hormone). You are likely to have neurological disturbances including visual illusions, hallucinations, blurred vision, memory lapses, and droopy eyes.
So the next question automatically becomes how to make sleep a priority? Here are a few suggestions you could practice:
- Enticing bed routine: Our brain loves patterns. Save appropriate activities until the minutes leading up to bedtime. This signals your brain that sleep is on the horizons and your brain treats it as a reward.
- Streamlined and peaceful bedroom: By re-purposing your sleeping space you are tricking your brain, making it difficult to go to bed. Leave your gadgets, snacks, and work stuff out of the room for a blissful sleep.
- Consistent bedtime: Although easier said than done but try to maintain a consistent routine. Research shows that the most beneficial hormone secretions and bodily recovery occur between the hours of 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
- Sleep is an investment: The busier you are during the day, the less time you have to sleep. Re-prioritize your schedule and invest some hours in your sleep. A little extra sleep is instrumental in health and work benefits too.
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