Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The sleeping economy

I have mentioned previously how important sleep is. I thought it would be a great topic to get into with you right now because in the last two days I have heard things that were interesting and I would like to share them.

Why do we sleep and why is sleep important?

We sleep each and every day. Having a good night sleep is so important not just for your health and your mental well being, but also for the next day. Your productivity suffers as well as your cognitive response and recollection when you do not get a good night's sleep.

So what is a good night sleep? It is when you give your body the proper amount of rest time. Okay so what does that mean? Well we each have a different level of how sleep affects us.

Some people can sleep for 10 hours and still do not feel well rested and others could sleep for 6 hours and feel fully energized and ready to go the next day. So how do we determine what is a good sleep. For starters become aware of your activity, the night before and the morning after your sleep.

Count the amount of hours you slept and notice your productivity during the day. You determine what is right for you by simply being conscious of how many hours are right for you.

I am a heavy sleeper so I can't speak for those who have interrupted sleep. But what I do know is that when your sleep is interrupted then your clock resets as to how many hours of sleep you get. This happens because there are different stages of sleep. Your body needs to pass through all the stages for it to fully recover, heal, and stay healthy.

When you are waking up your body needs to come back from the stages of sleep just like it went into them. So a blaring an alarm clock does not do you any good. Instead try sleeping with your blinds open (This is how I get up) and let the natural light wake you up gradually. Or set an alarm clock that slowly becomes louder so your body and mind is not jolted into this panic mode.

Okay, I am no sleep doctor, I do not hold any educational degrees pertaining sleep, neurosciences or psychology. You can find a ton of information online about sleep. But this is not why I wanted to share this topic with you in the first place. I didn't want to tell you how important sleep is because you should already know that by now.

"Sleep makes people calmer, more alert, less fearful - and just plain happier, or so I see around me and in me. I am sure that if this great nation were to concentrate on getting more sleep, we would be a happier, more confident people, and that by itself is a major achievement." Ben Stein

We are stuck in this cycle, we have a bad sleep, then we have a bad day, then we do it all over again.

So why am I writing about sleep? I thought it was fascinating to hear from two of my friends about how disconnected they were with the amount of sleep they were getting on a daily basis and how they felt about it.

They mentioned to me how well rested they were and how it was unusual for that to occur.

One of them is a hairdresser and the other is an entrepreneur like myself. The entrepreneur is my best friend and he told me that the reason why he was able to sleep so good was because he didn't have to worry about anything in the morning.

I asked him, "why don't you apply the same method every morning?" He laughed and said "are you kidding me? How will I get any work done?."

Let me emphasize here that you can still get your work done. The trick is to take the "worry" out of your morning ritual. In fact, he could probably be even more productive, not to say that he is not productive already, he is a very successful man, in my opinion.

My hairdresser also claims that if she feels well rested something is wrong. In this case she slept through her alarm clock because her phone died.

Why do we do this to ourselves? We sabotage the most important aspect of us growing and becoming an even better person. We age less, we think clearer, we are more alert, and we are full of energy when we feel well rested in the morning after getting enough sleep were we sleep through the various stages.

I have read studies that our brains can learn while we sleep, so for a while I used to put on audiobooks during my sleep. Did this help me personally? I can't say for sure. What I do know is that when I do not get at least 6 hours of rest I am much more groggier in the morning and I have a hard time during the day especially in the evening without feeling tired.

We do not all need the same amount of sleep, on the contrary some need more sleep than others. However, it is important we get the right amount of sleep.

"Sleep is the best meditation." Dalai Lama

Thank you for reading this post, did I make you sleepy reading this? To be continued....

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