Weekly Ponderings #10: sleep. how to get more of it. 😴


SLEEP. It's so important yet so many of us don't get enough of it. I was guilty of this last week and definitely felt the effects of it. WHY is it so important though?

Our bodies need 7-9 hours of good quality sleep every night in order to properly repair itself. Poor sleep leads to so many other issues in life. Not only do you physically feel like shit after not sleeping enough, over time, the lack of sleep will add stress to your body, impacting your hormones and immune system, mess with your metabolism, and lead to inflammation, insulin resistance, weight gain, mood disorders, and more. Not to mention those cravings where you find yourself crushing a chocolate croissant just because (me last week). And lastly, the less you sleep, the less energy you'll have to be your best self and achieve all the goals you've set for yourself.

STOP SKIMPING ON YOUR SLEEP. Yes, we all have the one-off deadlines that require some late night cramming. Other than those, the emails, Powerpoint decks, whatever you're working on, can wait.

It took me almost 30 years to learn this. Most of the work I've stayed up late doing could've waited until the next day. I'd stay up late cranking not because of a deadline, but because I'm more focused at night when no one is awake. I now know the havoc this does to my body, and have consciously worked on resetting my sleep cycle this year. When I lose focus for a sec I can easily slip back into my old ways...but now I know to make it a priority and how to get myself back on track.

Some tips for getting a better night's sleep:

1. Keep your electronics away from your bed. No more late night scrolling.

2. Find ways to calm down your mind and body (eg light stretching, deep breathing, a bath, reading). Cortisol (stress hormone) and melatonin (sleep hormone) have an inverse relationship. You want to lower your cortisol levels by calming the body down so your melatonin can do its job and put you in a nice deep sleep.

3. Minimize blue light after the sun sets (eg phone, TV, computer). If you're going to be on your screens, put your phone on night shift, download f.lux for your laptop, and invest in blue light blocking glasses. 

4. Limit caffeine during the day or don't drink caffeine past 11am. Some people metabolize caffeine slower than others, so your afternoon coffee could be messing with your sleep.

5. Reset your sleep cycle. If you go to sleep past midnight regularly, get into bed 15 min earlier each week until you're going to sleep around 9-10pm. This has been the BIGGEST game changer for me.

Have a great week everyone! Here's to 8 hours of sleep tonight. 😴  

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