We live in a very fast-paced society. A modern world, where we operate in comfortable temperatures usually ranging between 18–21 degrees. We sit at our desks and stimulate our brains with more information than ever before, with the latest stats being that on average we consume the equivalent of 178 newspapers every single day.
We are in constant pursuit of our goals, aspirations with it more and more seeming like there is never enough time in the day, to do everything. So what most people do is compromise their sleeping time, to get the additional things done with almost also a feeling of superiority from saying “I’m up at 5:30am and work like a machine”. The trouble being though that we are not machines, and also not knowing that depriving ourselves of sleep not only makes us cranky, but over time actually damages our health and could lead to further health problems. If you feel that you do in fact have enough time in the day but just aren’t as productive as you should be, head over to my other article on ‘breaking the chain of procrastination.
With that said, the days of an inflated ego for living on 4 hours sleep and 6 black coffees needs to change, we want to educate people about the importance of sleep and the danger of not having enough sleep.
Here are a few points that I hope will give you a little more insight to have some self-awareness around your own sleeping patterns.
For a brain to be healthy, it requires stimulation. And we need the neurotransmitters for our brain to get stimulated. However neurotransmitters are chemicals, and we don’t have an unlimited supply of these chemicals.
When your body is upright and moving, there’s a brain activity happening that responds to the gravity, we move our bodies through space and our brains are working. That response ‘brain function’ reduces neurotransmitters. The good thing is that by design we have a mechanism to resupply, and that is where sleep comes in. It allows the body to rest and an opportunity for the brain to resupply these chemicals. When we deprived ourselves of enough sleep as you can imagine this effects the whole of the body, including the brain.
Ever heard the expression “just sleep on it?” Well believe it or not our brains process our emotions when we sleep. It doesn’t stop working while we sleep, but brain activity is different than when we are awake. Our mind needs time to recognize and react the right way. Along with our brain function, we also have the fantastic response of finally coming back across the central nervous system spectrum over to the Parasympathetic nervous system side, responsible for rest and digest. Another line you may have heard of is the idiom “waking up on the wrong side of the bed..”. This is when we cut our sleep short; leading to us on most cases having a more negative emotional reaction. Feeling all grumpy and irritable, and you feeling easily annoyed.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, our heart doesn’t ‘rest’ even when we sleep, and of course, we need our hearts pumping 24 hours a day. However, while we sleep, our blood pressure goes down because of not much activity happening, which is giving our heart and blood vessels a much-needed rest, or you could less stress. The more time you stay awake in your 24-hour cycle, the longer your blood pressure stays up. Which can lead to heart disease, including stroke.
If you have an active lifestyle, then again just as you prioritize your activity, you should be planning and prioritizing your recovery. Sleep enables your body to recover from all the strains your putting into your muscles and always remember if you’re looking to build muscle this doesn’t happen on the gym floor, but rather when we are recovering and rebuilding. Under recovery can lead to a lack of motivation, fatigue and ongoing muscle soreness which ultimately stops you from performing at your best. Proper rest sets you up for your best performance.
We could go on forever on listing the importance of sleep in one’s life. An average adult requires 7–8 hours of sleep daily, but of course, we are different and at times in the year there may be external pressures that affect this. However not getting enough sleep can have long term risks on both our mental and physical health and so if there is purely one take away from this, it’s to at least have a think about how well you sleep and if there is anything you can actually do about it.
We want to be accountable of your journey to a healthy lifestyle. We want to be accountable of your journey to a healthy lifestyle. Be it establishing good sleep hygiene or following a good meal program; we have our fitness coaches here at Remote Coach to guide you along the way. We will walk you through your journey towards a healthy life. Should you want this kind of dynamics, do not hesitate to leave a message in our inbox