Happiness Tip #2: Prioritize Your Sleep (10 Reasons You Should)

SLEEP-DEPRIVATION-3

Y’all, I love sleep. After having a baby almost a year ago, sleep is like a prized possession. But still, it seems like other things get prioritized over sleep – doing the laundry, watching another episode of a favorite tv show….or any tv show, staying out for one more drink, looking at facebook, and the list goes on. In the morning I realize I should have gone to sleep earlier because I’m still tired, but at night I legitimize staying up later than necessary. This is a habit I am changing and here’s why you should too!

Fatigue has further reaching effects besides making us feel tired, it literally impacts all parts of our daily life. Here are 10 reasons why you and I should make our bedtimes earlier than we think.

Reason #1: You Will Be Less Crabby

Yep, Harvard proved it, when you’re sleep deprived you feel more irritable and stressed which causes over-reaction and general grouchiness. When you get the proper rest you need, you feel more optimistic and patient. This also contributes to reasons #4 and #8.

Reason #2: You Will Get More Stuff Done

When you’re rested you are more productive. We’ve all heard the phrase – early to bed, early to rise… well, there is a ton of evidence on the benefits of early rising. Those who wake up earlier tend to be more productive and more successful than late sleepers. Also if you wait on that tv show and watch it tomorrow think of all the time you’ll save by not having to watch all the commercials – instant productivity (thank you DVR!)

Reason #3: You Won’t Have To Buy As Much Cold Medicine

More sleep is linked directly to immune support which means you won’t catch that cold that’s going around the office quite as easily and if you do, you’ll recover more quickly. This leads directly to happiness (Reason #10) because you won’t be wasting money on those insanely expensive cold medicines!

Reason #4: You Will Have a Safer Commute

Here’s a stat for you: AAA reports that people who had just 6-7 hours of sleep are twice as likely to have a car accident than those who had 8+ hours of sleep. I think this is mostly due to intense road rage caused by grouchiness (Reason #1) but other variables at play include alertness and concentration, which also increase with more sleep. And by all means, do not pull an all night-er and attempt to drive – if you go for 24 hours with no sleep and you might as well be drunk driving!

Reason #5: You’ll Remember Where You Left the Keys

I’m going to admit, I’m not 100% buying this one. I feel like I could sleep for days and still not remember where I left my keys. But it has been proven that more sleep leads to a better memory. For me a better memory would also contribute to Reason #9 (at this point Blake just expects that I have no idea where my keys are at any given time… or my wallet… or my chapstick)

Reason #6: You Will Have Fewer Hangovers

I’ve come to this conclusion based on no proven evidence but plain old common sense. First, if you’re going to bed earlier you won’t be able to stay out for an extra beer or cocktail and we all know “one more” usually means like three more therefore a lower likelihood of a hangover. Second, instead of night time cocktail maybe you master the art of day drinking which gives you more daylight hours to process the alcohol so when you sleep your body can restore the brain instead of sift through all the crap you loaded in it earlier in the day.

Reason #7: You will Be Healthier & More Attractive

There is actual evidence here – in Australia a study was done that showed those that got more sleep were leaner, healthier, and more physically attractive. First lets tackle the attractive part – we all know about tired eyes but, in fact, sleep deprivation effects your entire facial appearance. More sleep also improves the likelihood for exercise during the day and helps you feel less hungry by keeping your leptin levels higher. From an overall health perspective, more sleep leads to lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Serious stuff.

Reason #8: Women Need More Sleep Than Men

I am so glad they have finally proven this! Sorry guys, it’s true… here’s the kicker: it’s because we use more of our brain during the day LOL. While we’re talking specifically about the ladies here – it has also been proven that lack of sleep is a major contributor to postpartum depression. With more sleep you are better at dealing with emotions and problem solving which are two crucial skills needed as a new mother. So stop catching up on laundry or cleaning – sleep when the baby sleeps…even if that means you are sleeping a lot – you NEED it!

 

Reason #9: You Will Have a Better Marriage

I would argue that most of the above reasons contribute here. If you’re happier, healthier, more attractive, and more productive your relationship will probably improve as well. But here’s the real reason your marriage will be better – 26% of people say their sex lives suffer because they are too tired. More sleep = less tiredness = more sex = better marriage (it’s math).

Reason #10: You Will Be Happier

It seems like more sleep leads to all kinds of good things in our lives. So go to bed earlier. Commit to getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night. I know it seems impossible sometimes but think about all the above benefits and realize it’s worth it!

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