There are countless videos, memes, and quotes that tells us to hustle harder and sleep less. Often times, the voices behind those messages highlight their successes and really cool possessions as evidence that their method of ‘less sleep’ is the best route to the top. We’ve even seen the videos with the calculations of how many hours should be spent on a craft in order to master it.
If I’m honest, these videos are so motivating. After watching, or listening, I find myself having a burst of energy like someone lit a fire under me. Then, I spend the next few hours hyper-focused on my goals. I feel great! Then when the evening rolls around, after I’d eaten dinner, cleaned the kitchen, and checked in with my family, I start feeling a sense of regret because my mind, body, and spirit are exhausted, and I just want to relax. But the voices from those videos would live in my mind rent-free, and I would force myself to stay up and work even harder.
I’ve recently learned that I am not alone. So many of us believe that less sleep and more work is better for our success. The truth is, while it will help you get to your goals quicker, this behavior is not sustainable. But, more importantly, it has an adverse effect on our bodies, and overall health, even mental health.
I’m aware that it’s not cool to say, “get your rest”. You may even fight against it with the fear that you’d be called lazy or not serious about your goals. This blog is here to quiet some of the noise and shift the focus to ‘rest is an important part of accomplishing your goals.’ Below are a few benefits of getting a full night’s rest.
When you get a proper amount of rest, between 7 and 8 hours of sleep, you wake up more refreshed and alert. With limited sleep, your body may be going but your mind and thoughts may have slowed down. Some may call this experience “mind feeling fogging.” This is because your brain is working overtime to support your body.
However, when you sleep through the night, your thoughts are quicker, and clearer. This is actually gold for creative people. But this isn’t limited to just them. If you work with number, or machinery, or even people, being on top of your game will require alertness. And alertness is always better once you’ve had some sleep.
According to countless research, long term sleep deprivation can cause serious health issues. This simply is because our bodies restore, and work to optimize its different functions when we’re asleep. So, when we get the proper amount of sleep, our bodies can restore our muscles, digest our food, fight off viruses, and so much more.
While we don’t see what’s happening inside of our bodies, just know that our bodies are an impressive machine that’s keeping us safe. We get to support our organs and cells by just going to sleep.
Getting to the point of feeling successful can be accompanied by many ups and downs, surprises, and stress. Life, itself, comes with a list of demands that causes us to feel worn out. But when we’re focused on getting to our goals, we often ignore the signs of stress. For some of us, we’re so busy, that we’re not aware that we’ve been experiencing stress. This can also cause health concerns.
Stress is one of those topics that often finds it way in a conversation. That’s because almost every person experiences a stressful moment or situation, at least once a week. Some may be better as assessing and releasing it quicker than others. On the other hand, many of us will call someone to tell them how stressed we are.
One of the best ways to reduce stress is to rest; specifically sleep. Take a moment to think about a toddler who’s stressed about leaving the playground too soon. After crying, fussing, and whining, and possibly an attitude, the child’s mood is completely renewed once they’ve taken a nap or went to bed for the night. That’s because sleep changes things.
So, the next time you want to fight yourself for not working through the night, think about how much more work you’ll accomplish once you’re well rested and your mind and body is refreshed. You get to go after your goals AND get the proper rest. You will still succeed and be happier in the process.