More often than not, adults find themselves getting less sleep than is medically recommended. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep and those over 65 should be getting 7-8 hours of sleep.
Lack of Sleep
- Inhibits creativity
- Impairs decision making
- Lowers emotional intelligence
- Increases irritability
- Leads to obesity
- Leads to a higher chance of having a stroke
- Induces reckless behavior and paranoia
Sleep is essential to the body as a way of refreshing your thoughts and allowing our mind to relax. Overnight, our dendrites connect with our synapses, which is ultimately how we as humans learn. This process becomes more efficient the longer we sleep. If you sleep for 0-2 hours a night, you experience only 9 minutes of this learning process. Sleeping 2-4 hours results in 18 minutes of this process. Sleeping 4-6 is 30 minutes. And 6-8 hours is a full 60 minutes. The difference between 4-6 and 6-8 hours of sleep, results in double the amount of learning our brain does overnight.
Sleeping will not only make you feel better, but it will increase your learning ability. If two people are identically intelligent, the one who gets more sleep will actually be able to perform at a higher standard than their counterpart.
Things You Can Do
- Limit naps to 20 minutes and make sure they a taken before 4 p.m.
- Go to bed earlier and take time to wind down before you actually want to be asleep.
- Create a distraction-free bedroom. Limit the number of electronics and lights.
- Set your thermostat to 65 degrees.
- Invest in a comfortable mattress, pillow, sheets, and blanket.
- Avoid chocolate or caffeine after 5:00 p.m.
- No TV or electronics before bed. Reading is a good alternative.
- If you wake up in the middle of the night, reset. Go to the bathroom, take a drink of water, stretch, and then read an enjoyable book.
Managing how you sleep is one of the first and easiest steps you can take on your way to becoming successful. Giving your brain and body the chance to rest fully can make an incredible difference on how you feel and present yourself the next day. Sleeping more will scientifically make you smarter and more successful. Now go and get some ZZZzzzzzzz.