Did you know that sleep trumps income and marital status when it comes to whether or not we enjoy our day? It’s totally true! You can be broke and divorced and if you get a good night’s sleep, you’re going to have a good day and a much better day had you not gotten the sleep.
Why is sleep so important? Ask a mother of a new born baby! Seriously, I know a lot of woman who get depressed because of the lack of sleep they endure while raising a baby. Scientifically speaking, our brain doesn’t work optimally if we get less than 7 hours of sleep a night. What’s the area of the brain most affected by the lack of sleep? It’s the one in charge of making decisions!
Trying to get slim and stay away from chocolate cake? Better get that sleep or you’ll start making bad choices.
Trying to get a raise and work long hours to prove your worth? Better get that sleep or you’ll miss something because the prefrontal cortex isn’t working at its best. You’re executive decision making skills won’t solve problems the way it can when it’s had a full night’s rest.
Trying to be happy for no reason? Go to sleep and sleep for 7-8 hours. Trust me!
You might be a wizard thinking that you can get by on just 4-6 hours of sleep, but guess what? Your judgment is being hampered with each night of sleep under 7 hours (ideally 8). Each night your brain process the information from the day. If you aren’t asleep for the full 7 hours, then your brain doesn’t process it all. It deletes it. You THINK you are performing well but in all actuality you could be doing so much more if you had more sleep! The fact that you believe you are a wizard with 4-6 hours of sleep is proof that your judgment is impaired.
And no, you can’t catch up on sleep on the weekend. It doesn’t work that way. Your brain process information each night. It stores what it needs to store and let’s everything else go. If you miss one night, that information is GONE. It doesn’t hang around until the weekend.
Your happiness challenge this week is to go to sleep before 10PM each night for 3 nights in a row. At the end of the 3 nights, see how you feel. To make sure you are able to go to bed at 10PM, start the process by getting up by 5AM, even if you don’t normally get up that early. Here’s a few more tips that will help you get to bed by 10:
- Avoid the use of any electronic devices (including your phone and the TV) after 9PM. Your brain gets stimulated by the lights from these devices and takes awhile to calm down after the stimulation.
- Start getting ready for bed at least 15 minutes before 10PM. Lower the lights, brush your teeth, wash your face, change into your whatever you wear at night and make sure your surroundings are quiet. A face mask and earplugs may be necessary. Be prepared!
- If your brain starts checking off your to-do list while you toss and turn in bed, try counting down from 100 slowly with each breath you take. I normally make it to about 64 before I don’t remember counting any lower. Another relaxation technique is to consciously relax each muscle of your body from your toes to your head. Most people will fall asleep before they pass their belly button.
To your happiness,