Sleep is NOT Overrated

I’ve noticed that I’ve been dragging…I mean really dragging.  I have good intentions of going to sleep at a time that allows me to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep.  Yet I never do. Since I have committed to being more aware of my actions and truthful with myself, I realized I’m actually only getting 4 to 5 hours of sleep on weekdays and 6 to 8 hours of sleep on the weekend. 

I’ve identified that I need to start my night routine earlier. If I start when I want to be in bed, there’s no way I will get enough sleep. And then when morning comes, I’m still weary. 

I intellectually know that when I get enough sleep, I feel better. I have more energy. My mood is better. And most importantly, I see more clearly and I am able to problem-solve better.

It made me think of the saying “Sleep is overrated.” Was that true?  I decided to do a little research. I tried to be objective in my research and to compare my findings with my own experiences. 

Here’s what I learned:

Sleep affects your mental abilities

Lack of sleep can cause increased accidents and errors.  It’s been linked to slower response and impaired attention. When I do not have enough sleep, it takes me longer to process information. I have a harder time focusing and I make a lot of mistakes. 

Sleep = memory consolidation

Memory consolidation is when recent experiences are transformed into long term memory.  Ahhh, that explains why I’ve been told that a sleep cycle will enhance the healing work I do.  I’ve been using a lot of ThetaHealing work recently. ThetaHealing is a form of energy psychology in which energy healing is used to teach my subconscious a new experience.  A sleep cycle will consolidate that new experience into long term memory. This allows me to feel better than the way I felt before, view my world differently, and create new habits rather than repeat old self-sabotaging habits. 

Sleep affects your mood

People who are sleep-deprived respond to low stressors as if they are high stressors. They lose the ability to let the small stuff go. When I don’t get enough sleep, everything feels catastrophic. I then become irritable, emotional, and irrational. 

Sleep affects your appetite

A lack of sleep can cause a desire for high-calorie foods which usually translates to processed food, sugar and carbohydrates rather than healthier choices like fruits and vegetables.  I notice that when I don’t get enough sleep and I have a high level of stress, I lose my appetite. However, whatever appetite I do have is for unhealthy junk food and I get stuck in a loop of not feeling well because of lack of sleep and not feeling well because of what I am eating.

It can take a long time to catch up on sleep

You may have heard that it is possible to catch up on sleep by sleeping longer another night.  It might be true, but there’s a catch: One hour of not enough sleep takes four days to recover.  With the lack of sleep I’ve been getting, it would take me a very long time to catch up on the amount of sleep I didn’t get.

With my newly focused awareness and newfound knowledge, I decided to come up with a plan: 

  • I’m going to put on my calendar the time I need to be asleep in order to get 7 to 8 hours sleep each night. 
  • I’m also going to give myself an hour for my night practices and put those in the calendar as well.
  • I will put down my phone at that time. Night practices will include a calming meditation or breathing practice. 
  • I’ve shared this plan with someone I trust to help me be accountable.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

What practices have you implemented that help you with sleep? 

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