It's time to wake up to reality. If you're not getting enough quality sleep, you need to drop whatever else you're prioritizing in your life and get to grips with sleep. Don't stop working on it until you're getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night.
Why Sleep Matters
Sleep helps regulate your endocrine, metabolic and neurological systems. In other words, too much or too little sleep can mess with your hormones, your appetite, and your ability to perform physical and mental activities. This includes physical coordination, communication, planning and reasoning, and your mood. And these effects can happen quickly. Many are immediate.
Longer term problems tied to poor sleep include heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, obesity, diabetes - and a shortened lifespan.
In short, since sleep regulates your body's internal systems, lack of sleep (or, more rarely, too much sleep) can quickly derail everything else.
Sleep is the single most effective thing we can do to reset our brain and body health each day -- Mother Nature's best effort yet at contra-death.
- Matthew Walker
What to do NOW
If poor sleep habits are harming your health, there is good news. Sleep science has made great strides in recent years, zeroing in on a few important habits that can get you on a better path. Give just one or two of these habits a try. We think you'll find that getting a good night's sleep is the ultimate power-up when your battery is running low. And if you're able to make it a habit, you'll see a profound positive impact on your overall health.
This week (March 8-14, 2020) is National Sleep Awareness Week. Check out the resources available at the National Sleep Foundation, including their Sleep Tips, and their newly-released 2020 sleep survey results. The results show that inadequate sleep affects 72% of Americans two or more days of the week.
In addition to checking out the Foundations' resources, you may want to dip into an excellent book we recently enjoyed: Dr. Matthew Walker's Why We Sleep. While Dr. Walker lists 12 tips that will improve your sleep, he notes that "if there is only one piece of advice you remember" from his book, it is Tip #1: Develop a regular sleep routine. We couldn't agree more.
In conclusion, we know the importance of sleep isn't news, but given how few people are currently sleeping well, it bears repeating. Loudly. IN ALL CAPS. If you're not getting enough sleep, or if your sleep is interrupted and fitful, you need to take steps to improve it. Take a small step today!
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