Let’s face the facts….everyone is miserable when they don’t get enough sleep. Who wants to wake up groggy knowing full well that they won’t be back in bed again for another 15+ hours? No one! And, it’s not just our happiness levels that suffer when we’re running on empty, sleep deprivation wreaks havoc on our mental wellbeing and overall happiness!
When it comes to having a winning mindset, sleep is the one thing you can take control of immediately to set yourself up for a happy, healthy, and productive day. In fact, getting those Z’s might actually be the ticket to having a positive, winning mindset that will allow you to carpe diem with a vengeance.
Why is sleep so important?
Researchers at Harvard University discovered that sleep is essentially the one thing that keeps us all going. There are plenty of physical benefits from sleep as sleep prevents diabetes and heart disease risk, but what about mental health? We’ve all been exhausted from workload and accidentally snapped at our friends, fell asleep at our desks, or drank way too much coffee just to keep our eyes open. Why is it that less than eight hours of sleep can lead to a total mental breakdown?
- Sleep is a key factor in retaining information, especially before and after tackling projects. Without getting a good night’s sleep before and after learning something new, the information just won’t stick.
- Jogging your memory is all due to sleep – sleep helps your brain store information long-term, keeping all the important details stored away for future reference.
- Research at Harvard University suggests that slow-wave sleep (SWS)- which is the deepest, most uninterrupted sleep- is the most vital to declarative memory. Declarative memory is factual information such as what happened at your sixth birthday party or what your boss said at the lunch meeting.
- Sleep helps to keep your attention on task, focused, and attentive- not just in the morning but steadily throughout the day.
The Huffington Post shares some surprising statistics: only 27% of adults who get over eight hours of sleep report feeling stressed or overwhelmed, and 65% of adults who sleep eight hours or more a night claim they have excellent mental health. Those with insomnia or sleep apnea tend to be five times more likely to develop depression, and twenty times more likely to develop anxiety disorders! Those are high odds, and the more you sleep, the more likely you are to keep yourself happy, functioning, and super healthy.
The Mindset Deep Sleep Creates
Sleep has been proven to prepare brains for success over and over again, in more areas than one. Research shows healthy sleeping patterns prevent road rage and keep drivers alert while on the commute to work- leading to fewer accidents and less foul language. Over-tiredness leads to 100,000 car accidents every year, and a good night’s sleep helps to prevent dozing at the wheel.
It’s been proven that sleep not only improves work performance, but it also prevents the mid-afternoon need for a nap and allows for healthier personal relationships. Getting enough sleep means being able to skip the morning urge for coffee, leading to less dehydration, and allowing you to be more positive and loving to family and friends. Being well-rested means being able to give 100% in all things- from personal and professional relationships to the hefty workload looming over Monday mornings.
The well-rested brain versus the sleepy brain will accomplish much more but will also be happier and less stressed while doing so. If you’re groggy and sleep-deprived all day, not only will the quantity of work suffer, but the quality itself will be much worse than if you were running on eight or more hours of deep sleep. Those who get eight or more hours of deep, uninterrupted sleep a night report being more focused, more motivated, and more energized in the office and at home.
How to get more sleep:
While it can be difficult to unwind and even more tempting to stay up late binging on Netflix, it’s important to prioritize how you want to feel the next morning. The best ways to get more sleep are easier than you think, and your brain and attitude will thank you for it.
- Sleep schedules are a great way to get used to going bed at a decent hour. If you know when you’re going to sleep and when you’re getting up, it’s easier to stock up on those important hours of snoozing.
- Diet is surprisingly important when it comes to sleep- since no one wants to go to bed starving or stuffed. Eating dinner before eight o’clock at night prevents you from feeling too full to sleep, and falling asleep hungry only leads to midnight snacking.
- Being cozy and comfortable is a luxury everyone should enjoy while sleeping since those warm fuzzy feelings under hefty blankets actually lead to deeper and less anxious sleep.
Sleep is one of the most overlooked allies to happiness and positive vibes throughout the work day and leads to a focused, winning mindset that will empower you to succeed in both your professional and personal endeavors.