Sleep is the single largest use of your time. The amount of rest you get influences the performance of your memory and ability to focus on tasks. Increasing sleep by an average of one hour may increase wages by 16%. This is equivalent to more than one year of schooling.
Improper rest can have costly effects not only on your pocket book, but your productivity and quality of life. 15% of US population gets less than 5 hours of sleep each night. Sleep has numerous important physiological and cognitive functions that are important. Compromised sleep also influences learning, memory, pain perception, the immune system and inflammation.
Recently I read several Professional Journals regarding this very issue. I have also suffered from compromised sleep most of my life. I’ve been to doctors, completed a number of sleep tests, have been issued medication, mouth guards, and machines. What I have found in my own experience is that we are usually the source of our problems and we can tell ourselves we are the victim of circumstances. Through a healthy lifestyle and few small changes, your quality of life improves.
We are the primary source of our sleeplessness.
Lifestyle and our choices contribute 100% to compromised sleep and loss in productivity.
- We go to the doctor looking for quick fixes such as medication.
- Late night lifestyle has become the norm.
- Alcohol adds to the equation and magnifies the problem.
- What we put off during the day ends up getting done during our rest periods.
- Prime time is not 7pm.
- It gets worse on the east coast at 9pm.
- Maybe you don’t get in bed until midnight.
- Many are going to school at night.
- Late night television and internet usage happens during these hours.
You could save $10,000 from just sleeping.
The effects of 6 hours of sleep per night for 4 nights in a row reduces productivity and alters your mood. This finding is what has led to the 8 hour universal recommendation. People who are sleepless and spend less time in the dark create less melatonin which causes drowsiness and reduces the body temperature for optimal sleep.
- Impact of sleep is about $3,700 dollars a year in losses per person. That’s an average of 6% loss in productivity per year.
- The increase in health care cost is about $6,000 annually.
- Sleep loss directly contributes to the causation of 11 health risks.
- Number of adult office visits about sleeplessness increased 100%.
- Insomnia diagnoses are up 700%.
- Numbers indicate significant increases in the use of sleep hygiene coaches who provide general guidelines about diet and exercise.
Grapple with sleep and your routine like it’s an enemy.
Developing a healthy routine will lead to more productivity and a better quality of life.
- Begin downloading a few hours before bed.
- Don’t spend the last few hours watching television or slaving over work.
- Dim the lights and burn some candles.
- Eliminate caffeinated beverages and consider some herbal tea that induces sleep.
- A warm shower or bath before bed increases the body temperature and then gradually declines making your body think it’s time for bed.
- If your thoughts are racing, you have anxiety, or your mind is wondering, sit and write it out. Writing is therapy for the mind.
- Manage your energy with yoga, meditation, prayer or stretching. I try to do some soft tissue work in the evenings so my muscles begin to relax.
Burning the candle at both ends of the stick like many do is dangerous. You may be getting more done in the short term, but that’s debatable. You are also doing more damage and shortening the life span of the candle. Our bodies will eventually wear out. If you neglect maintenance on a machine it begins to break down and wear out faster. Lengthen and strengthen the span of your life by adding an an hour of sleep to your day.