Sleep. I used to hate sleeping or even simply resting. It was just so … boring?! Back then, my parents said that one day I would understand. But what would I understand? That sleep causes me to miss out on so much? So why waste time and rest or sleep? But, my parents were right; I grew up and now I understand. One migh even say I grew into… well, an extreme case – I fell in love with sleeping.
Only very little can keep me from going to bed early and rising with the sun early in the morning, well as soon as I got my 7 to 8 hours of sleep. I just love the feeling of getting out of bed without snoozing my alarm five times and then rushing off because I overslept. I feel so much more relaxed, calm and stress-resistant and most importantly, I am in a much better mood when not constantly tired. Sleep used to be squeezed in whenever the rest of our daily to-do’s were done and allowed our body and mind to rest. Some of the reasons for that are the wrong impression that people who make sleep a priority are lazy or less ambitious.
Sleepy Head aka. Lazy Bum
Taking some time off, doing nothing on a Saturday night or simply going to bed early is often perceived as either super boring or extremely lazy. And whenever a stressful situation or phase in life arises, we naturally tend to cut down on sleep. Why? For some reason we believe that with 5 hours of sleep a night we get more things done and sleeping is just a waste of time that prevents us from getting things done. In the beginning the common but misleading perception of sleep as unproductive was stuck in my head and I did not allow myself to rest properly.
But it just didn’t work so well for me. I was less productive, could not focus and had a feeling of dizziness. I used to wonder if I was just not as ambitious as fellow students or some really hard-working friends and made life too easy for myself. Maybe it was motivation that I was lacking, rather than sleep. Or maybe it is just a matter of habit. If I managed for two weeks to get along with only 6 hours of sleep, maybe I would be fine, too.
Healthy lifestyle: more than just a healthy diet and exercise
Just around New Year’s I have noticed that so many people wish to live a healthier life. What they actually meant was eating more healthy and exercising more often and regularly. That is great! But why exclude sleep at this point? A proper and good night sleep is one of the main aspects for a fit and healthy lifestyle. The body and the brain need this precious time to process and recover. Especially now that we spend so much time sitting in front of our laptops and smartphones and are constantly buzzed with new information, instagram likes and comments. How else do we expect our body and our mind to rest and recover from this? I believe the constant flow of information and to-do’s settle in our minds and bodies just like a really good horror movie. And I did have a couple of sleepless nights after such a movie. That does not mean that I stopped watching those movies. But I am considering the consequences.
Just recently I read an interesting article in one of my favorite magazines, the flow magazine. In their German issue they shed light upon the importance and benefits of sleep. A good night sleep will help you feel and look better and live a more mindful life. Why? Because your body and mind got the rest and relaxation they so desperately need and deserve! That is why I try to leave my laptop and smartphone out of reach for the last and the first 30 minutes of the day. I can tell you that much, it’s tough. But there is very little I wouldn’t do for a good night sleep. So why not try it yourself?