I’m nocturnal by nature and always have been. Whenever I have a project to complete or just really want to relax, night-time is the perfect time for that. I seem to get a burst of adrenaline at night. Don’t get me wrong, I can get up early if I have to but it can be a struggle at times! On average I get about 6 hours of sleep per night. 2 hours shy of the 8 hours most studies recommend. The weird thing is it seems like the less sleep you get, the less sleep you need. I remember when I could barely function on 6 hours of sleep, but now it’s my norm. So I’ve put together a list of why we should really strive to get at least 8 hours of sleep (in no particular order).
1. Short Fuse
You’re usually less likely to get into a fight, cursing match, or altercation if you’ve gotten an adequate amount of sleep the night before. Not to say that there aren’t some short fuses out there (including myself at times), but we want to prevent that from happening at all costs.
If you’re not awake, you can’t eat! Sounds simple enough right? But the more you stay up, the more hungry you will be. When you wake up you will be fuller and more tired which delays your kickoff for the day: breakfast. Breakfast is the catalyst to the start of the day and if you’re eating too many late night snacks, you just may feel like you woke up on the wrong side of the bed.
This is closely tied to the next reason, #4, since a lack of sleep not only causes lack of energy but a disrupted metabolic process which can lead to unnecessary weight gain and weight loss. Wondering why your diet and exercise regimen aren’t working? It could simply be you’re not getting enough sleep.
4. Mid-Day Slump
So you woke up on time, ate a healthy breakfast and even worked out. Great! But guess what? You’re probably still headed for a downfall during the dreaded mid-day period at work (around 2:00 to 4:00 pm). Want to keep your head from hitting the keyboard? Try going to bed a little earlier.
5. Clear Thought Process
Ever have those moments where you forget what you were doing? Why you needed to walk over to your coworkers desk? Leave your wallet in plain sight on the break room table? If you add them up, you’ve probably had more of these moments on a day following a lack of sleep the night before. It’s more than mind over matter…
6. Behind The Wheel
Driving to and from work (or wherever you’re going) with heavy eyelids is never a good idea. And is it just me, or does driving with the windows down or blasting the radio not work when you’re really tired?
7. More Productive
Sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking that a lack of sleep causes us to get more done, but does it really? I’ve found that although I may have gotten a lot done the night I stayed up late, I’m usually no good the next day. The early bird gets the worm…not the bird that’s too sleepy to function the next day.
8. Written All Over Your Face
Let’s face it, no matter how hard we try, most people can look at us and tell when we haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep the night before. Although you may be used to this pattern and some people still manage to look vibrant, that’s a very rare few. Want to get rid of those bags? Try a good night’s sleep.