The value of sleep can not be underestimated. I for one, having struggled with sleep all my life, am so appreciative of the mornings I wake up refreshed and ready to go.
Many of us focus on how many hours we put in at work, and some put a prize on how little sleep they can get away with in a night.
However what they may not realize, is that even though you can function on less hours, that it really does your body and mental clarity a disservice. That you don't actually function as well while you are working, and you are less productive.
Creativity, confidence and decision making are all enhanced by getting enough sleep. While deprivation negatively affects our moods, our ability to function, and our higher cognitive functions are impaired.
Bill Clinton who famously used to only get 5 hours sleep a night, "Every important mistake I've made in my life, I've made because I was too tired."
So if you look at the equation, you actually could do fewer hours and work more productively during the day, if you got that regular 8 hours. Sleep makes us more competent.
I like this analogy from Arriana Huffington - What would happen if we didn't charge our iphone overnight? - It would most certainly run out of battery the next day. So how about thinking that way in regards to recharging our brains and our bodies?
Lack of sleep encourages weight gain, affects your hormones, increases the risk of stress, depression and other diseases, plus it elevates the possibility of early death - sorry for the dramatic - but sleep can literally save your life!
In general adults are recommended between 7.5 - 9 hours sleep per night (no matter if you can "get by" on less) for a healthy balanced life. Personally I aim to get to bed by 10pm when possible. Some researchers say that every hour before midnight is the equivalent of 2 hours after midnight. I love a bit of added value!
Tips for a good night sleep.
* Cut down on caffeine after 2pm, and avoid alcohol late in the evening as it can affect your sleep patterns
* Keep your room cool and dark
* Don't bring electronic devices into the bedroom. Apart from the distraction, the light from the screens affect our body clock
* Exercise every day
* Take a warm bath before bed.
* Have a regular bedtime and also get up at the same time each morning