If you know me, you know how important sleep is to me. I’m a big sleeper and I need 8 hours a night to be have full capacities the next day. It can be a struggle when you start work very early, then you may feel like you don’t have time to do anything in the evening. But I’m gonna try to help you understand why is sleep so important and how you can make it easier to have long and restful nights. I recently listened to the podcast by The Joe Rogan Experience on sleep with Dr. Matthew Walker and I learnt so many things that I wouldn’t have thought about!
We all know that sleep helps us recover, physically and mentally, and that we need it to survive. But too many people see it as something they can play with. I’m quite sure most of us feel like the days are too short and we don’t get enough time to get everything done. And as we want to do always more, the only thing we can reduce is the amount of time we sleep. If we can’t lengthen the days, let’s shorten the nights! If that’s what you do, please do yourself a favor and stop.
Whether you are an active person or not, you have to keep in mind that a better sleep will increase your potential in all aspects of your life. It may sound absolutely impossible for most of you to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. But it can only be beneficial for you to prioritize sleep just as you would prioritize exercise or your diet.
Fun (not so funny) facts on sleep deprivation:
- Forget the « I’ll sleep when I’m dead » statement! This is actually proven that lack of sleep increases mortality and risks for diseases.
- Your physical performance depends on your sleep. The less you sleep, the worse your performances like peak muscle strength, physical vertical jump height and peak running speed will get.
- Getting less than 7 hours sleep increases by 60% your risk of injury.
- If you are underslept, 70% of the weight you will lose will be muscle and not fat as your body will be reluctant on giving up fat.
- Lack of sleep will increase your hunger hormone called ghrelin. You will want to eat more and your food choices will not be the best ones.
- Your memory will be impacted by lack of sleep. The connections your brain makes during the night will not be effective if you don’t sleep enough.
- Lack of sleep will also weaken your immune system. You will be more likely to get sick if your body is tired. Even though you may not realize it’s tired.
Few tips to improve your sleep:
- It’s not a secret that you shouldn’t scroll on your phone in your bed before sleeping. The blue light that you screen emits suppresses melatonin, the hormone which regulates sleep. Try to keep your screens out of your room or at least don’t use them in the hour before you go to bed.
- If you struggle to fall asleep and to relax, maybe your anxiety is peaking up and it will affect your sleep. When it happens, I put a few drops of lavender essential oil on my wrists and pillow. Lavender essential oil reduces stress and anxiety and the nice smell will help you relax and fall asleep.
- It may sound weird but another trick I use to sleep better is crystals. If I find myself having nightmares or bad dreams, I put one or two crystals below my pillow and usually, it really improves my dreams. Choose the crystals wisely so that they don’t have the counter effect and get you too energized! I usually go for rose quartz, green calcite or amethyst.
- Don’t go to bed too full or too hungry. I try as much as possible to have dinner 2 hours before going to bed. You don’t want to sleep on a full stomach! But make sure you don’t go to bed hungry, we all know how bad it feels!
- Meditate. I always prefer to meditate in the morning as it’s when my mind is the most quiet. However, when I fell stressed after the day or I feel anxious, I like to follow a guided meditation. I do not meditate just with a song or without any noise before bed, otherwise I fall asleep and loose all the benefits of the session! Click here to read my article on meditation and how you can start your journey with it.
To listen to the podcast click here. Also available on iTunes and Spotify.
To find the book by Dr. Matthew Walker click here.
Sweet dreams ◊