Proper Sleep Habits can Transform How You Think and Feel
Everyone wants to start off the day refreshed and energized, ready to take on what the world has in store for them. For many people, the single most important variable that is preventing them from doing so is maintaining proper sleep habits. Prioritizing your sleep can transform how you function for the rest of the day.
Modern society has made people more sleep deprived than ever, as there are an unending series of things grasping for your attention. So it is no surprise that getting proper sleep has become a public health concern and more of a pressing issue than ever before. There are distractions all around you, so many things you want and need to do, and only so much time in a day. After a hard day at work or school, staring at your TV or phone or computer for hours on end might seem like a good way to decompress, but it isn’t.
How well you sleep affects everything about you. Gone should be the days that people brag about their lack of sleep so that they can work harder or study more. We now know just how detrimental lack of sleep is to your ability to learn, memorize, and focus.
And it doesn’t stop there. Unmotivated? Bad mood? Anxiety? The quality of your sleep affects how you think and feel for the rest of your day. The effects of sleep deprivation are insidious, and many people just don’t realize the sacrifices they are making when they are not prioritizing a good night’s rest.
Proper sleep acts as an anchor for all other actions during the day. It affects your ability to exercise, and the impact exercise has on your body and mind. It affects your willpower, and the self-control you have over the foods you eat. And it affects your ability to be mindful and manage your emotions and thoughts properly.
Getting a good night's sleep drastically affects how you feel for the rest of the day. Your mind and every other major system in your body will simply not function optimally if proper sleep habits are neglected.
For the chronically sleep deprived, it becomes easy to chalk up the bad days to a variety of other factors, mainly because it’s hard to gauge the true negative consequences that lack of sleep is having on your own mind. Too many people end up attributing their bad, unproductive days up to other variables.
Take the conclusions of this UPENN study for example:
“Since chronic restriction of sleep to 6 h or less per night produced cognitive performance deficits equivalent to up to 2 nights of total sleep deprivation, it appears that even relatively moderate sleep restriction can seriously impair waking neurobehavioral functions in healthy adults. Sleepiness ratings suggest that subjects were largely unaware of these increasing cognitive deficits, which may explain why the impact of chronic sleep restriction on waking cognitive functions is often assumed to be benign.” (source)
Let me make the conclusions of this study very clear because it is so important: chronic sleep deprivation—in this case, 6 hours of sleep or less a night—causes you to perform at an equivalent level as someone who has not slept for two days straight! And the scariest part is that you might not even realize it. That type of drastic cognitive decline should alarm anyone who wants to perform at a peak mental state but is not prioritizing their sleeping habits.
Unfortunately for many, primary and secondary sleep disorders make it seemingly impossible to sleep well at night. That is why it is so important you arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible to ensure you are doing everything in your power to get proper rest.
Sleep is the most restorative and rejuvenating function our body goes through. To operate at peak condition, you must prioritize it.