Why sleeping isn’t overrated
On an average base, we sleep 32 years of our lives. That’s around and around one-third of our lifetime. This might sound like an unnecessarily amount of time, but it’s definitely not a waste of time. On the contrary, having too little sleep will decrease your productivity. Exactly. That’s a waste of time!
According to Russell Foster, a circadian neuroscientist, we don’t know enough about sleep. In his TED talk, he shares his thoughts on three reasons why we sleep: restoration, energy conservation and functionality of the brain. In his opinion sleeping isn’t really an indulgence, it’s a must. “People who don’t sleep, won’t ever get there“. Lack of sleep causes a poor memory, poor creativity and overall poor judgement as a side-effect. People who are tired are most of the time very stressed and 50% of the people who sleep less than 5 hours a day are likelihood obese as well. So, sleep deprivation is actually bad for your health. This video explains what happens to your brains when you sleep too little and what the effects are on your body.
As explained in the video: Sleep increases concentration, attention, and decision-making. Also, our overall social skills and health improve. Even when we are aware of this, most of us will still be working late or use their electronic devices until the moment we’re in our bed. It’s hard to get rid of your habits while you’re trying to climb your ladder to success.
The negative economic effects of sleep deprivation
A Harvard Study found that insomnia leads to a loss of 11.3 days of productivity in one year per person. Only counting for the US, this means an estimated loss of productivity worth 63.2 billion dollars. Unless that’s something we wish to happen, we should definitely need to find ways to get more sleep. There are already some companies who try to improve their employee’s rest. For example Google, who’s hosting ‘Sleeposium’ events. These symposia reveal the advantages of good sleep and give practical tips to help employees sleep better. A majority of the working individuals across our globe do not sleep enough hours according to what their body actually needs. With an average amount of (less than) seven hours a day, productivity will decrease.
How to sleep better
It’s up to you to discover how many hours you need to sleep a day to be the most productive. Sleep is a very personal thing, not everyone needs the same amount of sleep. First be sure that all conditions are good, then identify the optimal sleeping routine to let you perform best.
Russel Foster’s ‘Sleeping for Dummies’ tells us how to sleep better in 5 steps, you’ll find more information about these topics behind the click:
- A dark room: “You want as much darkness in your bedroom as you can handle without tripping over things.” Natural light will inhibit the production of melatonin, which is a hormone that promotes your sleep naturally. Consider heavy window shades when there’s light shining from outside.
- Turn devices off: Mental activity and light promote wakefulness and it might affect your internal body clocks over time.
- No caffeine after lunch: Caffeine might be useful if you want to stay alerted and awake, but it might shift your biological sleep-wake clock. Melatonin releases will be delayed by approximately 40 minutes.
- Morning light: Try not to sleep during the day and use the natural light to wake yourself up (you can also use a wake-up light).
- Wind down: Do things that make you feel at ease before you’re heading to bed.
Remember, some people need more sleep than others. So you have to find out what works the best for you personally. If you recognise some of the disadvantages of sleep deprivation, these easy steps might easily give you more energy and willpower!
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