“These two threads that run through our life—one pulling us into the world to achieve and make things happen, the other pulling us back from the world to nourish and replenish ourselves—can seem at odds, but in fact, they reinforce each other.”
– Arianna Huffington
“I’ll get plenty of sleep when I’m dead…” I recalled thinking to myself more times than I care to admit. However morbid and harsh it sounded, this was actually my ‘stance’ on sleep throughout my late teen years to my early 20s.
With so much to do and so little time, sleep was definitely not my priority. Unfortunately, I wasn’t alone in this toxic approach to rest. In fact, at the time, most of my peers appear to be living life the same way.
Little did we know, we voluntarily fell victim to hustle culture – a lifestyle that not only encourages us to constantly burn the candles at both ends, but also made us believe that it’s the only way we can attain real success.
Read More: When Something’s Gotta Give…
Oftentimes, we spent our days ‘grinding’ and would proudly share our lack of sleep as a badge of honor.
Unknowingly, we contributed to the glorification of busy – the more work & responsibilities one has (and burnt out), the ‘better’ or more accomplished one is likely to be (perceived).
Sounds insane, doesn’t it?
Knowing what I know now, it certainly does to me.
These days, I’m happy to share that while I still maintain a full plate, sleep has long made its way to the top of my list of priorities.
Read More: Mastering the Art of Prioritization
Depending on circumstances (travels, deadlines, etc.), I may not always get the 7-9 hours of sleep that the average human adult needs to be in their prime state, but it’s definitely a habit that I consciously strive to maintain.
Curious as to how a better sleeping pattern can positively change your life? Below, you’ll find the top benefits of prioritizing zZz that may just be able to help you step closer to your best self!
You’ll Become More Aware
“Sleep gives us a chance to refocus on the essence of who we are. And in that place of connection, it is easier for the fears & concerns of the world to drop away…”
I don’t know about you but I noticed that when I don’t get enough sleep, it becomes difficult to maintain a sense of balance & composure.
Sleep deprivation impairs our judgments. As a result, we tend to get easily agitated and view our life as a series of never-ending tasks & responsibilities rather than the precious gift that it actually is.
In this state, it’s also not a rarity that we end up going through our day focusing on the past, and/or the future instead of the present moment.
Getting the rejuvenating slumber you need can help you heighten your awareness. By doing so, you are able to bounce back from a bad day more easily, improve your outlook on life, and be better equipped in facing challenges that come your way.
In order to make the most of life, it’s imperative that we maintain a strong sense of awareness. This enables us to make better decisions & take actions that truly reflect our values.
You’ll Become Healthier
One of the biggest advantages of having a good sleeping habit is better health and overall well-being.
You may already know that chronic lack of sleep can significantly increase the chances of mood disorders and/or mental health issues.
Read More: How to Take Better Care of Our Mental Health [Tips]
That said, not only can it help maintain a good state of mental health, but it can also have significant positive effects on your body.
Getting enough sleep on a regular basis can boost your immune system as well as prevent a slew of serious physical health problems ranging from heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and high blood pressure.
You’ll Improve Concentration & Productivity
Ever had those days where you find even the smallest task presents a real challenge? Finding that you’re more forgetful than usual?
Chances are, you’ve been burning the midnight oil and are running low on sleep!
Getting quality snooze time enables us to not only start the day in a better mood but also helps us to ‘sharpen’ our brain.
This is because sleep plays a crucial role in our ability to focus and retain details (improve memory) in addition to taking in new information.
When we are well-rested, we’re able to improve our concentration and tackle our daily tasks & responsibilities with relative ease.
Read More: 5 Easy Things You Can Do to Have a More Productive Day
As we’re more focused and energized, we’re less prone to making mistakes and as a result, much more productive than if we’re sleep deprived.
Arianna Huffington, the founder & CEO of Thrive Global, is a huge proponent of sleep. Having spent decades not prioritizing sleep, she knows all too well of (and experienced) its detrimental effects.
An incredibly accomplished woman, she can personally attest that sleep can help all of us to become more successful, both in personal & professional spheres.
You’ll Have Better Control of Your Appetite
Ever find yourself indulging in way too much junk food when you’re feeling anxious or stressed?
Studies have shown that sleep deprivation ‘messes’ with the levels of leptin and ghrelin, hormones in your brain that are responsible to control appetite.
When they’re out of balance, it becomes that much harder for us to resist the temptation of chowing down on that huge bag of potato chips or a whole pint of ice cream.
Read More: 8 Simple Things to Do to Become Healthier & Fitter For Life
Unfortunately, junk food further puts stress on the body and often leave us feeling even more tired. Hence, we’re likely to be unmotivated to get the physical exercise we need to keep healthy & fit.
Getting better sleep will not only curb these unhealthy cravings, but it will also better control your appetite, and in the long run, helps you to maintain a healthy weight.
You’ll Get Younger Looking Skin
It’s no secret that one can look a whole lot older when they’re sleep-deprived but not many realize that the opposite is also true.
Chronic sleep loss can not only lead to sallow skin and puffy eyes, it often can result in faint-looking skin, wrinkles, and dark under-eye circles.
When we don’t get the sleep we need, our bodies produce and release a lot more, of the stress hormone, cortisol. And when it gets excessive, it can be intrusive and breaks down collagen, the protein that keeps our skin smooth and elastic.
So, rather than investing in costly and often time-consuming (or possibly questionable) anti-aging treatments, getting more sleep may just be the easiest, cheapest, and yet most effective way of having younger-looking skin!