Sleep is the Key to Personal Success
When it comes to success, there are no shortcuts. Everything you do from the time you wake up until your head hits the pillow at night plays a role in your success. In fact, your sleep habits are more important than most people realize and affect everything from your focus and motivation to your physical health and mental wellbeing.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. Unfortunately, 70% of people report getting insufficient sleep in the last month. Countless factors can impact your quality of sleep including stress, chronic pain, changes in your environment, and other medical conditions. Maintaining a healthy sleep schedule and adopting positive sleep habits and routines can all promote restorative sleep.
Sleep isn’t always a top priority when life gets in the way. This is especially true if you have multiple obligations and responsibilities. Family, work, and your social life can all take precedent over getting some much-needed shut-eye. The problem with this dynamic is that the less quality sleep you get, the less productive and successful you’ll be in life. Burning the midnight oil may seem like the right choice when you’re staring down a deadline or are out partying with friends, but your mental and physical wellbeing will end up as collateral damage.
Stop sabotaging your future. Keep reading to discover why getting beauty sleep is about more than just taking the edge off your grogginess. In the long run, it may be the difference between personal success and failure.
1. Increased Motivation and Productivity
People find motivation from different things. What drives you is often based on your skills, interests, and life goals. What you want to achieve in the future dictates the decisions you make in the present. Lack of sleep makes it difficult to focus, set goals, and find the motivation to achieve them. Success takes hard work and dedication. When you don’t get adequate sleep you wake feeling drowsy and disoriented. It’s often difficult to formulate and organize your thoughts, making it impossible to plan and execute your ideas, let alone generate new ones.
All of these factors can also impact productivity. A tired brain doesn’t have enough energy to absorb or recall new information. Without restorative sleep, neither your mind nor body can carry out simple tasks efficiently. During sleep, your body is resting while your brain is hard at work sorting new information and clearing out unnecessary data. Sleep also re-energizes your cells, storing information as memories. Sleep makes it easier to access these memories during awake hours, absorb new information, and learn new skills.
2. More Balanced Mood
Babies and children aren’t the only ones that get cranky when they’re tired. You may not realize it, but your overall mood, demeanor, and personality are all impacted by sleep. Adequate sleep helps you feel rested and rejuvenated. It promotes happiness and positivity. You’ll wake feeling energized and ready to tackle the day.
No one likes waking up after a fitful night of sleep. You likely feel drowsy and irritable. Some people suffering from sleep deprivation report feeling sad, depressed, and even angry. Tired individuals are more vulnerable to stress and are short-tempered. Your mood and demeanor carry over into all aspects of your life, including your interactions with others. Having a short-fuse at work can lead to impaired relationships, inter-office turmoil, and may even compromise your job. Your personal relationships are also at risk. When you’re sleep-deprived, you’re much more likely to lose your patience and lash out at loved ones.
After a quality night’s sleep, most people wake to feel happy, positive, and inspired. Well-rested individuals handle change and stress much better than those who are sleep-deprived. You’ll also feel more willing to help others and be more affectionate with your loved ones. Now, you can face and overcome challenges head-on with a clear head and open heart.
3. Improved Physical Health
Speaking of your heart, sleep plays an important role in maintaining your overall physical health including the strength of your heart and immune system. Not getting enough sleep can cause cardiovascular complications including high blood pressure and heart disease. It also puts you at greater risk of having a heart attack. Lack of sleep increases your body’s cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that causes your heart to work harder. During sleep, your heart has the opportunity to rest and restore itself so it can function properly during the day. A well-rested heart is stronger, more powerful, and efficient.
A strong immune system protects you against illness and disease. It can prevent everything from minor colds and infections to more serious health conditions like cancer. When you’re sleeping, your body’s immune cells also get to rest and gain strength to fight off any unwanted invasions. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, some vaccines and medications may also work more effectively with proper sleep.
Individuals who are more susceptible to illness and injury are often at higher risk for depression, stress, and anxiety. You may also experience chronic pain and unwanted side effects of certain medicines. When your body and mind are in a constant state of sickness, you can’t function properly or realize your fullest potential. Missing work or using too many sick days can also compromise your job performance or even put your employment at risk.
4. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Another health factor that is significantly impacted by sleep is your weight. That’s not to say that sleeping 8 hours per night is enough to trigger weight loss by itself. It can, however, prevent you from gaining additional weight and give you the energy and motivation needed to exercise. When you don’t sleep enough, your body starts to produce a hormone known as ghrelin. Ghrelin triggers your appetite, making you hungrier more often. Lack of sleep also reduces the production of leptin which is the hormone that lets you know when you’re full. Combine this increase in appetite and the inability to know when you’re full and chances are, you’ll experience unwanted weight gain. Lack of sleep can also cause an increase in stress, triggering late-night food cravings.
Excessive weight gain is dangerous for many reasons. It puts you at greater risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and circulation problems. In addition, being overweight can sabotage your self-confidence, causing depression and increased anxiety. When your confidence waivers, you also start to question your abilities. You may start to doubt yourself and feel incapable or unworthy of achieving your dreams and succeeding in life. Getting sufficient sleep gives you the wherewithal to ward off these negative thoughts and keep pushing forward.
Sleep Equals Success
Countless factors determine how successful you are in life, with your level of motivation topping the list. Without a clear vision for the future and a positive attitude, your mental and physical limitations will get the best of you. What some people don’t realize is that without adequate sleep, you’ll lack the focus, physical ability, and mental fortitude to succeed. Your body and mind need sufficient rest to repair, re-energize, and prepare for the day ahead. Investing in your sleep is an investment in a successful, satisfying, and productive future.
Guest Writer Bio
Katherine Hall is a Sleep Psychologist who specializes in treating insomnia. She holds degrees with specializations in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia. With over 13 years of clinical experience working in the public and private sector, Katherine is dedicated to improving sleep health. Katherine spends her workweek at (Somnus Therapy) with one goal in mind, to help people sleep better.