Sleep is an area that I feel is neglected in America. You are looked upon as somewhat great and inspiring if you are able to live on just a few hours a night. Donald Trump was noted saying recently he only sleeps 5 hours a night. It was said as if we are to honor that and respect him more. I think otherwise.
If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep. ~Dale Carnegie
I took notes from an article I read online at health.com regarding why it’s good to get enough quality sleep every night, not just on the weekends.
11 Benefits to Quality, Nourishing Sleep:
- Improve memory. You’ll learn better and perform better with adequate sleep.
- Live longer? If you sleep better, you can certainly live better. Sleep affects our quality of life.
- Curb inflammation. Improvement in blood pressure, and doctors have studied lack of sleep linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and premature aging.
- Spur creativity. During sleep your brain appears to reorganize and restructure them, which may result in more creativity. Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with the best thought you had to write down? I believe if we don’t get enough sleep, those creative spurts are fewer and far between.
- Be a winner. Getting 10 hours sleep a night can improve athletes and they have less fatigue time and more stamina. Remember those days when you feel lethargic and any movement makes you exhausted, because you are lacking sleep?
- Improve your learning. Children with sleeping issues and disordered breathing are more likely to have problems with attention and learning (2010 study in the journal Sleep). Severe and reoccurring sleep deprivation clearly impairs learning. Schools in recent years are recognizing that children who come from homes that promote healthy sleeping habits, do much better in school and they retain what they learn in school more.
- Sharpen attention. A 2009 study in the journal Pediatrics found that children ages seven and eight who got less than about eight hours of sleep a night were more likely to be hyperactive, inattentive and impulsive. It concerns me that many children are being labeled as problematic children and possibly it’s the lack of sleep and inconsistent bedtime habits that could be part of the problem.
- Have a healthy weight. Researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat-56% of their weight loss-than those who were sleep deprived, who lost more muscle mass. Dieters in the study also felt more hungry when they got less sleep. “Sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain,” Dr. Rapaport says. “When you are sleepy, certain hormones go up in your blood, and those same hormones drive appetite.” When we are tired and exhausted from not enough rest, our bodies crave foods, mostly carbs, to refuel our tired bodies. Thus, my own weight gain over these last two years.
- Lower stress. When it comes to our health stress and sleep are nearly one and the same-both can affect cardiovascular health. “Sleep can definitely reduce levels of stress, and with that people can have better control of their blood pressure,” Dr. Jean says. I am able to cope more effectively when I get enough sleep and I can tell a difference in my stress level when my sleep is deprived.
- Avoid accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in 2009 that being tired accounted for the highest number of fatal single-car run –off-the-the-road crashes due to the driver’s performance-even more than alcohol. “Sleepiness is grossly underrated as a problem by most people, but the cost to society is enormous,” Dr. Rapoport says. “Sleepiness affects reactin time and decision-making.” Insufficient sleep for just one night can be as detrimental to your driving ability as having an alcoholic drink.
- Steer clear of depression. Sleeping well means more to our overall well-being than simply avoiding irritability. “A lack of sleep can contribute to depression,” Dr. Jean says. “A good night’s sleep can really help a moody person decrease their anxiety. You get more emotional stability with good sleep.” It’s about finding balance in your sleep. Not catching up on the weekends to make up for less sleep during the week days. I still remember my doctor asking me in the office, “Are you depressed?” I wanted to scream I’m so tired I can’t think straight! Eventually, I believe my lack of sleep for so long did lead to depression.
Now, blessings light on him that first invented sleep! It covers a man all over, thoughts and all, like a cloak; it is meat for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, heat for the cold, and cold for the hot. It is the current coin that purchases all the pleasures of the world cheap, and the balance that sets the king and the shepherd, the fool and the wise man, even. ~Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, 1605
May you find your blessed spot to find rest for your soul. May you lay your head on your pillow and find nourishing rest.