Prioritizing sleep is the best self care

I’m sure many of us get trapped in vicious circle of ‘pursuit of success’ (whatever success mean to you). I notice that recently productivity is so trendy that there is no better answer than “busy”, if someone ask how are you? There would be nothing wrong with it, if not for the fact that by imposing too many things we are really moving away from what we want to achieve. When we can’t keep up with everything, we try to save time somewhere. Usually by cutting sleep. Same, we pay a high price, because lack of sleep is a grave sin.

According to National Institue of Neurological Disorders and Stroke quality sleep is as essential to survival as food and water. Therefore it’s really frightening that so many of us underestimate its salutary influence on the quality of life.

Are you in sleep debt?

Do you happen to not sleep enough few nights in a row, and sleep off over the weekend? Do you sometimes get an hour or two out of your sleep pool to finish something or watch something late at night? If so, I have bad news for you. Lost sleep cannot be simply made up. This debt – accumulation of lack of sleep from sleepless nights – is difficult to pay back. And it’s something more than a fatigue and difficulty concentrating. Why is it so?

First of all, we can’t just get the body accustomed to sleeping less. Even if you think that you are totally fine with your 5-hours sleep night, you may not be aware that you have a debt of sleep. It manifests itself in disordered metabolism of sugars and glucose and the beginning of any negative changes in the body.

The impact of sleep on our lives is multifaceted. Sleep is primarily a time to regenerate brain function. It also affects almost every type of tissue and system in the body.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

With insufficient sleep, our body cannot function normally.

Lack of sleep disturbs certain biological mechanisms. I am talking about functioning of the immune and nervous systems and the operation of long-term memory.

You must sleep to work efficiently

According to Jerome Siegel, from University of California, evolutionary roots of sleep go much deeper. In his research he points out that sleep is primarily to increase the body’s energy efficiency, as well as to optimize time and strength. Due to the fact that we sleep, we are able to use the active phases of life more effectively.

Skimping on sleep can make more damage than we can imagine. Studies shows that the group of effects related to lack of sleep include: increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, loosing brain tissue, decrease in concentration and creativity, anxiety and depression.

Do you see how huge this is?

You can’t miss the connection from poor sleep with anxiety disorders especially in the Western world.

What happens when your brain does not sleep?

Quoting Mark Rosekind “Every aspect of who you are as a human, every capability is degraded, impaired, when you lose sleep. What does that mean? Your decision-making, reaction time, situational awareness, memory, communication, and those things go down by 20% to 50%.”

But wait, there’s more. On the top of that we can add distraction, brain spasm and brain damage, memory loss, creation of false memories, anger, neurosis, impaired wit, hallucinations.

By now you have realized that proper amount of sleep is vital to lead a healthy and fulfilled life. We cannot live up to our full potential if this area is somehow disturbed.

The importance of sleep in motivation and productivity is undeniable. Sleep is a very important thing on the road to success. But that’s not all, because in addition to sleeping, dreams are also significant.

Bare with me now, so I can lift the veil for you.

What's happening in our dreams can give us tips on important issues in life
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Sleep and dreaming improves the ability to accurately analyze the situation and solve problems. It’s boosting creativity. This is illustrated by research done by prof. Robert Stickgold from Harvard Medical School. He woke up during the REM phase of sleep and asked them to provide associations connecting two words. He asked the same thing students who remained fully aware. It turned out that the first group gave less obvious and original associations. And according to him this is creativity in its pure form.

It is worth watching what we dream of because dreams are closely linked to what is happening in our lives.

According to Professor Mark Blagrove, the function of dreams is to alleviate the strong emotions we experience while awake and to train before events that may occur.

You can see more in dreams

Dreams draw our attention to what we may not see. Hidden fears, needs we are ashamed of – it can be anything.

Jung discovered that dreams reveal the cause of our disharmony and emotional anxiety, reveal hidden potential and brings a creative solution to everyday problems.

Dreams are the way to subconscious

Dreams often show what we do not allow into consciousness and satisfy the desires we suppress. By looking at our dreams we can understand ourselves on a deeper level.

It’s a good idea to keep a dream diary that you can analyze. If you are struggling with any problems this way will definitely prove helpful in solving them. Moreover, knowing that the subconscious is really ruling us, it is worth following what is going on in it.

The messages that dreams bring are needed for our development. We often dream about what we lack and what we need, and realizing this makes our path to fulfillment much easier.

Prioritizing sleep is the best you can give yourself

All this shows us how dangerous it is to neglect the sphere of sleep. Isn’t it great that such a simple and pleasant thing can have a significant impact on our lives? So sleep tight and hope your dreams come true! (only the good ones )

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