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You’ll Sleep Or You’ll Die

Have you ever heard the phrase “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”? 

How many of you are guilty of saying this as an excuse for poor sleep when you’re busy. 

Come on, raise those hands. 

Unfortunately, amongst the hustle and grind messaging that we seem to get bombarded with everyday on our journey towards personal success, one of the areas of our life that suffers is our sleep. While when we are younger sleeping less than 5 hours might not be too difficult to overcome, as we age we begin to notice the impacts an irregular sleep cycle can have on us more and more. 

In fact in a study published in Sleep a scientific journal from the Sleep research society by D. Windred Et Al found that “people with less regular sleep patterns have a higher risk of premature mortality, and that sleep regularity is a stronger predictor of mortality risk than sleep duration.”

So it’s not just about how long you sleep for but how regular your sleep schedule is. What does your current weekly sleep schedule look like? Do you use the weekends as an excuse to throw the schedule out the window and indulge in some late night Netflix or scrolling on your phone? Maybe it’s simply allowing yourself to sleep in on the weekend instead of following your usual routine of rising at 6am? 

If you’re currently struggling to stick to your current sleep schedule or aren’t sure how to judge if you are allowing yourself adequate rest during the night hours and need either more or less sleep then let me share with you the podcast episode that actually got me thinking about this topic in the first place. It was an episode from the Mel Robbins podcast with guest Dr Rebecca Robbins that I highly recommend you listen to here

This episode helped me learn that “falling asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow means that you have a good sleep schedule” is actually a myth!

If you find yourself collapsing into bed each night and falling asleep in under 7 minutes then you might actually be experiencing sleep deprivation. 

Most people take closer to 15-20 minutes to fall asleep if they are getting enough sleep each night. 

So what can you start doing today to make sure that you are building good sleep habits and better sleep regularity? Here are just a few things I would recommend. 

  1. Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment: Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet. Consider using blackout curtains, earplugs, or a white noise machine if necessary.

  1. Establish a Bedtime Routine: Engage in relaxing activities before bed, such as reading, taking a warm bath, or practising gentle yoga.

  1. Limit Screen Time Before Bed: Try to avoid screens at least an hour before bedtime. The blue light emitted from devices can interfere with your body's production of melatonin, the sleep hormone.

  1. Extend Do Not Disturb Settings: Adjust your phone's do not disturb settings to start an hour before you go to sleep and extend it for an hour after you wake up. This reduces disruptions and allows you to ease into and out of your sleep more smoothly. Did you know that screentime first thing in the morning can also disrupt your circadian rhythm and dump large levels of dopamine on your brain first thing in the morning? 

  1. Be Mindful of Your Diet: Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol close to bedtime. These can interfere with your ability to fall and stay asleep although I won’t get into the neuroscience behind why right here.

Remember, getting quality sleep is essential for your overall health and well-being. By adopting better sleep habits, you can improve your rest and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day. 

Sweet dreams!

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