Are you yawning as you read that title?
Maybe you’re just tired of being told how important sleep is. It is old news.
But wait – stay with me. You are going to learn something new about you.
The trouble with telling someone “sleep is important” is that it’s not personal to them.
If you can view how sleep is personally messing around with you in your life and maybe even causing some serious unhappiness for yourself, you may be more eager to change.
Your sleep-deprived brain is a liar
When people come to my office seeking counseling in English for high anxiety, depression, or relationship problems at home and work, one of my first questions is, “How well are you sleeping?”
Because if their sleep is poor, that’s the first place to start making a change. That person may not even need therapy if they can improve their sleep quality.
Getting enough sleep at the right times helps protect your mental and physical health.
When you don’t get enough sleep it lowers your threshold for managing stressors in your life. You show up using the wrong approach: a sledgehammer instead of a pair of tweezers.
When you are in sleep deprivation mode the changes in your life happen so slow. Like the frog sitting innocently in a pot of cool water, not noticing the heat being slowly turned up….
You might not even think you could be the problem. It may seem like everything and everyone else is the problem when you view life through a sleep deprived brain.
Not getting the sleep you need for your body to recuperate will harm you over time as well as in the moment.
Arianna Huffington’s new book on sleep is bringing attention to this important topic
Arianna Huffington has personally experienced the severe burnout from not getting enough sleep. She states, “We are in the middle of a sleep-deprivation crisis and all that brings.”
I’m looking forward to reading her book. Huffington has built a huge platform for this message and I’m excited to see her use it to spread the message about sleep. I’ll review her book ASAP.
Is sleep deprivation really that serious?
Studies show that a good night’s sleep improves learning and sleep deficiency alters activity in some parts of your brain.
Sleep deprivation is linked to illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and depression or depressed thoughts.
Your depressed thoughts slow you down. You’re in a biological state of exhaustion and doing nothing about it. Depression sounds like a logical biological reaction to get you to slow down. And get some rest. And yet depressed thoughts cause even more problems such as suicide, impulsivity, mood swings, not getting along well with others and so forth.
Do you think this is just a coincidence?
I’ve discovered through my work how when one of my clients is sleep deprived and not really caring about their sleeping hours they also have very little “me” time.
That “me” time is actually “unscheduled time.” Time for what are not necessarily quality activities but binging on Netflix or Candy Crush and so forth.
My clients often sacrifice sleep time for me time. Me time is important too, so what’s a person to do?
Usually I ask my clients to take a step back to broaden their perspective. They need to reprioritize sleep time and me time.
Sleep deficiency could be one of the major things that is between you and that quality life you deserve.
Is an overactive mind keeping you awake?
A great way to prepare for sleep is to quiet your mind through meditation. Try my free meditation download here.
“Accidental Beds” by Flickr user Olaf Gradin is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.