We all take sleep and rest for granted. In the era of hustling, we often hear that we should work harder than before so we could meet our goals. However, I find it counter-productive to sacrifice your health in order to achieve your goals. At the end of the day, we are all working hard so we can enjoy and share the fruits of our labor. How are we going to enjoy it if we are too exhausted or worst, if we end up in the hospital.
I have a friend from college who, unfortunately, had the responsibility to save her family from the financial trouble that they found themselves into. She worked a full-time job and she made some loans and built and ran two small businesses. After just three months of juggling three huge responsibilities, she ended up in the hospital due to over-fatigue and that’s when she shared to us what she was going through.
Their main dilemma was, her parents were having trouble in making both ends meet and the piling cost of mortgage were left unpaid for a few months. And then add to that the cost of raising a lot of children.
Whenever I remember it, it makes me feel proud of her and I do admire the courage of my friend to step-up to help her family and her siblings, however, it did cost her a lot.
In our society, I’m sure that she’s not the only one who went through (or currently going through – shout out to everyone around the world who are hustling to help their family) this kind of situation. A few years back, I also found myself in a similar situation wherein I had to worked multiple shifts just to be able to pay off the debt of my parents and to help send my younger siblings to school.
We have to remind ourselves that although, it is important to help them now, it is more important that we keep ourselves healthy so we could help our families for a longer period of time.
Here are 7 reasons why we need to sleep and pull that break gear from the maddening world of hustling:
It Helps Your Body Stay in Optimal Condition
Sleep is one of our body’s natural processes. It is vital to our basic survival just like drinking water, breathing and eating. Continuous studies our being conducted by various organisation to help further understand and to document the health benefits of sleep. And a lot of those studies have concluded that:
Sleep Boosts the Immune System
Sleep is known to be an effective immune-system booster. Have you noticed that on days when you lack some sleep that you feel mild headaches and sometimes it even feels like you’re going to have a flu. Studies show that sleep enhances T cells responses that helps our bodies fight off potential illness.
Sleep Helps in Regeneration and Healing
There was a study conducted by Tracey Smith, a nutrition scientist at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine wherein they tested three groups of healthy people who volunteered to take part in tests. They administered small blisters by applying gentle suction on the tests participants forearms.
The first group had normal amount of sleep which is seven to nine hours at night. The second group only got two hours of sleep for three nights in a row. The results showed that sleep clearly helped. People who slept normally healed in about 4.2 days. The sleep-deprived volunteers took about 5 days to heal. You can click here if you wish to read the details of the research.
Sleep Helps Improve our Overall Health
Good sleep equals to good health. According to SA Health, sleep is important because it is when many important functions take place that help the body in physical recovery and repair, support brain development, cardiac function and body metabolism, as well as support learning, improving memory and mood.
It Helps in Keeping Your Brain Sharp
Public health scientists in UK are advocating at least seven hours of sleep to help keep our brains sharp. They conducted a study that revealed that getting too much or too little sleep can prematurely age your brain by up to seven years.
The study results suggest that regularly sleeping for seven hours during the night can help to reduce the cognitive decline that occurs as we grow older.
Similarly, Hardvard Health Publishing also advocates getting seven to eight hours of sleep to help improve memory.
It Helps in Making You a Creative Force to Reckon With
There are various researches that highlights the immense value of sleep on our creativity. One notable study was conducted by Wagner, Gais, Gais, Haider and Born wherein they gave the test participants a challenging task with a hidden strategy built-into it. If the participants figure out the hidden strategy, the would be able to solve it in a much time-efficient manner. Some participants were given eight hours of sleep and some were deprived of sleep and the result showed that 60 percent of the participants who had adequate sleep discovered the hidden strategy.
Based on their study, sleep enabled the participants’ brains to mentally restructure the information learned, resulting in insightful responses.
It Helps in Making You More Productive and Efficient
Insufficient sleep causes difficulty in focusing clearly on the tasks at hand. And we all know that if we do not maintain focus on what we do, we commit mistakes and errors. Have you noticed that when you lack sleep that it’s too hard to go through your usual day at work. It seems very difficult to grasp and understand the usual reports that you are already used to just because you did not get enough sleep.
Lack of sleep could also potentially cause occupational hazards and endanger the health and safety of workers according to this study because of the inability of the individual to maintain focus.
Getting enough sleep helps us stay alert and maintains focus in whatever tasks we engage ourselves with.
It Gives You Time to Recover from Both Physical, Mental and Emotional Stress
Sleep takes us away from all the hustle and bustle of this crazy world. As we go through the different stages of sleep, our body goes through a lot of processes to help us recuperate from what we have gone through the day.
According to this article, our level of Cortisol (also called the stress hormone) decreases during the first few hours of sleep before rising to peak soon after you wake up. It’s also mentioned that during sleep, your sympathetic nervous system – which controls your fight or flight response – gets a chance to relax.
Since our mind and body are in a relax mode, we give ourselves the chance to heal, regenerate and rejuvenate thus improving our overall well-being.
It Helps You Feel Youthful
It was mentioned in the above linked reports how sleep helps regenerate our bodies and one obvious part of our body is our skin. One of the main benefits of a good night sleep is our youthful glow.
According to this article, during our sleep, our skin makes new collagen which prevents our skin to sag. It also boosts blood flow which gives our skin its healthy glow and this is very evident when you look at the mirror just right after you wake up. Your skin looks supple and vibrant when you had enough sleep and it looks very dry on the days that you are sleep deprived.
It Helps You Feel Happier
There are various studies that correlate a good night sleep with our level of happiness. I personally believe that it is true. Have you noticed that when you are sleep deprived, you tend to be more irate, irritable and sometimes stressed and anxious about almost anything?
According to this article, when we deprive ourselves of enough sleep, we increase our risks of being depressed and stressed.
If we have enough sleep then we can focus on our jobs or businesses more effectively. It helps us think clearly and make better decisions. It helps us forge more meaningful and happier relationships too because we’re not irritable. We have the sufficient energy needed to create wonderful memories with our families. And the benefit of a good night sleep goes on.
Sleep helps us improve our overall well-being and getting enough sleep prepares our mind and body to face all the challenges that will come our way.
So, if you are hustling like me day and night in order to achieve our goals, do not forget to give yourself ample time to rest and rejuvenate.