Perhaps it is because I’m over-tired today, but I’ve always been fascinated by the power of sleep. Getting more sleep makes you happier, pay more attention, make better decisions, and be more creative. On the other hand, getting less sleep tends to lead to making riskier decisions, impairs your judgment and decision making, and increases the likelihood of becoming depressed.
The Harvard Women’s Health Watch suggests 5 big reasons to get enough sleep (although I’m sure these suggestions apply to men as well!)
- Learning and memory: sleep helps the brain commit new info to memory. For example, people who’d slept after learning something did better on testing and recall of that info later.
- Metabolism and weight: chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbs and altering the levels of hormones which impact our appetite.
- Safety: sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the day. These lapses have a wide range of consequences including traffic and work accidents.
- Mood: loss of sleep can cause irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate and moodiness.
- Health: sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat. It can also impact immune function.
So, there are plenty of reasons to get some healthy habits when it comes to sleep. I know that I find it hard to shut down at night, but for sure I feel the impact in the morning if I haven’t gotten enough. I think it is safe to say that sleep is way too important to shortchange. While I can’t personally cause a nuclear meltdown in my job, I don’t want anyone who could to be sleepy!
Besides, getting too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things that you like to do. My plan? Get a few extra zzz’s this weekend.