Is sleep really that important? We talk to clients daily that operate “just fine” on 4 or 5 hours of sleep each night, or less, and they are perfectly happy with this setup. They don’t believe sleep is as important to their health and performance as it is for other people. In their defense, how could they? In this article we’re going to dig deeper into this topic and some of the top reasons to improve your sleep now.
4 Reasons to Improve Your Sleep
Are you skeptical about the importance of sleep? Don’t be shy and don’t be ashamed. You’re not alone. We speak with many clients that openly want to get as little sleep as possible in order to maximize their work time, family time, and hobby time.
What they don’t realize is how much more they might be able to get done with the proper amount of sleep and how much better they might feel with the proper amount of good-quality sleep.
The honest truth is, unless we know what life can feel like when we’re fully rested and our body is recharged, how will we be able to realize and acknowledge how important sleep really is?
You may know what it feels like to have a bad job, but if you’re content with that job, then you won’t realize how bad it is until after you get a better job. Then you’ll look back and realize how bad the previous job really was.
The same is true with sleep. Unless we take the time to see how it feels to be fully rested, how can we compare? Let’s look at a few of the top reasons to improve your sleep right now and why it could make a huge difference in your life.
1. You will Eat Less
Could getting more sleep actually improve your eating habits? Yes!
According to Healthline, “Sleep deprivation disrupts the daily fluctuations in appetite hormones and is believed to cause poor appetite regulation. This includes higher levels of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates appetite, and reduced levels of leptin, the hormone that suppresses appetite.”
Sleep more and you will want to eat less. Could that help you achieve your weight goals?
2. Improves Concentration and Productivity
Will sleeping help you concentrate better and be more productive? Yes!
One study found that “Moderate sleep deprivation produces impairments in cognitive and motor performance equivalent to legally prescribed levels of alcohol intoxication.”
How much work would you get done if you were drunk all day, every day? Your concentration and productivity is operating like this when you’re sleep deprived, and it’s almost certainly impacting the results you’re seeing.
3. Reduces Risk of Heart Disease, Stroke, and Type 2 Diabetes
Can sleep really reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke? You betcha!
“A review of 15 studies found that people who don’t get enough sleep are at far greater risk of heart disease or stroke than those who sleep 7–8 hours per night.” and “In a study in healthy young men, restricting sleep to 4 hours per night for 6 nights in a row caused symptoms of prediabetes” (Healthline)
Sleep more and live longer? Deal. That sounds like a win-win.
4. Impacts Mental Health
Getting less sleep each night can impact mental health? Put money on it!
Sleep and depression, for example, are very connected. In fact, “Of all the psychiatric disorders associated with insomnia, depression is the most common. It has been estimated that 90% of patients with depression complain about sleep quality.” (PubMed)
Studies have also shown that people dealing with sleep disorders, such as insomnia or sleep apnea, “report significantly higher rates of depression than those without”. (PubMed)
Feeling overwhelmed like you’re drowning in tasks and don’t have enough hours in the day? Dedicating more time for sleep can help you feel better and have more energy to knock out the things you need to get done.
Ready to Improve Your Sleep?
Imagine if you could start addressing your health concerns, just by getting to bed a couple hours earlier each day. You have my permission to use those four reasons to happily crawl back in bed for a few hours.
Imagine being more productive at your job and being able to get more done in less time. Could you start completing everything on your to-do list and getting out of work on time? Could you find time to work out, eat better, or spend more time with family and friends?
Imagine if you could wake up feeling re-energized! Your mind is excited and ready to take on the day, improving your mental health and not feeling so bogged down.
Do you believe it could help you? Even if you’re skeptical, are you willing to give it a real shot and then compare how you feel now versus how you feel after a few weeks of proper sleep?
Give yourself the opportunity to experience the full benefits of sleep. Commit to a few weeks with 7+ hours of sleep per night and then decide if you were truly ‘ok’ operating on less.