Today, many people brag or complain about sleeping less than 5 hours a night to get more work done. Staying up and not sleeping shouldn’t be seen as a medal of honor, but rather a deprivation that can lead to serious health concerns like heart disease and weight gain.
Sleeping less than 7-9 hours a night could also lead to decreased productivity, irritability, and a lack of focus. You may be sleep deprived if you feel sleepy after eating, snooze your alarm every morning, rely too much on caffeine for energy, or fall asleep doing other activities.
It doesn’t end here. It’s not just 7-9 hours of sleep; on top of that, you’ll need quality sleep that means not waking up tired, or falling asleep shortly after laying down.
Debunking Sleep Myths
There are many myths out there surrounding sleep, an activity we do for a good third of our lives. These myths are unhealthy and should be laid to rest, despite how right they may seem to sound. These myths could be one or more reasons why you may not be getting the quality sleep you need.
Rebecca Robins of the NYU Langone Health’s School of Medicine debunked these sleeping myths:
- Many people assume that sleeping for less than five hours was alright, a problematic assumption that plagues many Americans. According to the CDC, one-third of Americans sleep less than 7 hours per night and below the recommended hours. The World Sleep Day statistics also indicate that 45% of the world’s health is being threatened by sleep deprivation. Be kind to your body and sleep 7-10 hours each night, If possible.
- A lot of people also assume that it won’t matter what time of the day you sleep, even with the prescribed number of hours. It is still recommended that people sleep during the night as this controls the circadian rhythm (body clock) of the body; this regulates our body’s hormones, growth, and temperature. People working during unusual hours are shown to have increased risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
- Hitting the snooze button and sleeping on the commute to work is something a lot of people do. For that snooze button in your alarm, hitting it means your body returning to a lower quality of sleep. Upon waking up, you’ll feel groggy and tired; to fight this, best place your alarm far away from where you’ll have to leave the bed. Sleeping on the commute to work, on the other hand, indicates that the body is making up for the lack of sleep.
The Quality Sleep You Deserve
We’re all victims of doing one or more of these activities that can hinder us from a good night’s rest. Cross out as much of these as possible for you to feel more energized and awake the next day:
- Avoid using your phone, TV, or tablet before bed. Blue light emitted from screens blocks the sleep hormone needed by your brain to help you fall asleep.
- Sleeping on sheets or mattresses that are too hot. Invest in a good quality mattress or try bamboo sheets to help regulate your body temperature in bed.
- Don’t eat a heavy meal before bed and avoid caffeine or sugar.
- Refrain from reading work e-mails or updates as well as working before sleep. This can stress you out and won’t help you sleep better.
- Avoid sleeping and waking up at different times of the day; this disrupts your circadian rhythm
- Sleeping with the wrong posture. Ensure that your limbs have adequate support before sleeping.
- Lack of exercise. A good workout relieves stress and improves sleep.
A Medal of Honor Your Body Deserves
Don’t feel proud of not sleeping the right hours or not getting the quality sleep your body needs. It may be a sign of mental strength, but at the cost of drowsiness, poor productivity, and possible health concerns. Get the quality and length of sleep your body needs, and it will thank you for it.