Want to become more productive and perform better? Studies have shown that the single greatest thing you can do is to get more sleep! More than one-third of working adults in the U.S. get less than 6 hours of sleep a night. This equates to 40 million Americans on the road everyday with insufficient sleep and costs U.S. businesses more than $63 billion in lost productivity every year.
When I was a cadet at West Point and an officer in the Army, we would say that “sleep is a crutch” or “we’ll sleep when we are dead.” That day will come sooner if we don’t get the adequate sleep necessary for our health and performance. Our brain can only remove toxic proteins, which impair our ability to think, from its neurons while we are asleep. Unfortunately, caffeine and energy drinks don’t help!
Insufficient sleep also slows our ability to problem solve, process information, kills creativity, and raises our stress and emotional instability. Our immune systems are compromised so we are more prone to get sick. Sleep deprivation has also been linked to serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Our body will overproduce the stress hormone cortisol which in turn weakens our immune system, and makes people look older since cortisol breaks down skin collagen, the protein that keeps our skin smooth.
Not sleeping enough also makes you gain weight! When you sleep less, your body has difficulty metabolizing the calories you eat and makes you hungrier by increasing the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin. We also tend to meet more since our body produces less leptin, a hormone that tells us when we are full. People who get less than 6 hours of sleep a night are 30% more likely to become obese than those with 7 to 9 hours a night.
The rest period after we exercise are just as important as the workout itself. Our body needs time to recover. Without proper recovery, our bodies will break down, resulting in the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual problems many people face with lack of sleep.
So how much sleep do you need? Studies show that 7 to 9 hours is the ideal amount to be sufficiently rested. Some may need more, and some may need less, so you will have to figure out the ideal amount for you. When you get enough sleep will think more clearly, manage your emotions better, and remain calmer under pressure, which all have a direct link to better performance and productivity. Your emotional intelligence also goes up, helping you monitor your own and other people’s emotions better. This also helps you invest better and get higher returns!
The resources below are articles to help you get higher quality sleep and improve your sleep hygiene! If you have any other suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments section!
- 7 Steps to Better Sleep So You Can Perform Better in Life! – Having trouble getting high-quality sleep? Try these 7 tips.
- Sleep to Lose Weight – The easiest way to lose weight
- Boost Memory with a Mid-Day Nap – Why you should take power naps
- Sleep Better By Avoiding Some Foods Before Bed – The foods you eat before bed can affect your sleep patterns. If you’re having a hard time sleeping soundly, consider eliminating some of these foods before bed.
- Tips For Being More Productive – Getting more sleep will help you be more productive.
- How Sleep Affects College Stress – Need to ace your final exams? Make sure you get enough sleep.
- 6 SMARTEST things you can do before you go to sleep! – Do these things before you go to sleep.
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