The amount and quality of sleep you get directly affects your physical and mental health. It also dictates the quality of your waking life, affecting things like your creativity, alertness, emotional balance, productivity, immunity to illness and even your weight. Nothing else you do in a day will offer so many benefits with such little effort!
Sleep isn’t just about closing down your body for a while. When you rest, your brain remains busy, carrying out essential maintenance and setting you up for the next day. When the hours of restorative sleep are reduced, you will noticeably struggle to learn, work and communicate in a way that realises your full potential. Skimping on sleep can put you on the road to serious physical and mental burnout.
Luckily, you don’t have to choose between productivity and health. By tackling any sleep issues and ensuring you achieve the right type and amount of sleep you need, your health, energy and efficiency will receive a well-deserved boost. You’ll probably find you actually get even more done!
It’s important to stress though that it’s not just the number of hours you’re asleep that really counts, but the quality of sleep is vital too. If the hours of sleep aren’t a problem but you still feel tired during the day, it could be that you’re not spending enough time in the various stages of sleep. Each part of your sleep cycle provides very specific benefits. However, deep sleep (when you repair your body and build up energy for waking), as well as mood and mind-boosting REM sleep, are especially vital. It’s well worth avoiding nicotine and alcohol before bed too, and make sure your sleeping environment is dark, quiet, cool and comfortable.