Summer and rest!

Finally, summer has arrived here in Southern Ontario and its time to relax and have some fun!  Whatever you do in these warm months I sincerely hope you enjoy yourself!   I do have one suggestion and that’s getting more sleep if you aren’t getting eight hours a night. You may be thinking its summer and I don’t want to go to bed early. I understand your concern but allow me to explain why more sleep, and why now.

For the majority of us when summer is over our lives get busier.  Whether we’re getting kids off to school or it’s the final push at work we just have more to do.  Many are left feeling tired and run down. If this sounds familiar then now is the time to start forming a new habit that will prepare you for the busy times ahead.  As you may know it takes approximately 60 days to form a new habit so start now and you’ll be ready for the fall.

Some people pride themselves on surviving on a few hours of sleep a night.  They brag about this like it’s a good thing, but is it? 

Brené Brown speaks about this topic is an interview she did with The Washington Post and summarizes the concept well by saying that “exhaustion is not a status symbol”.

We’re supposed to get a full eight hours a night.  I know many disagree with this and feel their body can get away with much less.  Well, who am I to argue?  I will though share some negatives of not getting enough sleep.

If you are not getting enough sleep and you feel tired your thinking becomes impaired and this leads to bad behaviour and decision making.  In the end, you experience unfavorable results and of course you’re not presenting you best self or image.  We become less efficient and productive too.

Ongoing lack of sleep has been linked to an increased risk of chronic and serious diseases such as heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke.  Lack of sleep can even make us gain weight.  When you don’t get enough sleep, our hunger hormone levels go up while our fullness hormones go down. In a nutshell lack of sleep is not good for our health, decision making or productivity. When we’re tired, we’re also less likely to exercise and we’re more emotional.

If you feel comfortable with your current sleeping hours then great.  If you want to consider getting more sleep then start to create a new habit by going to bed 15 minutes earlier.  Do this for a week and if you feel better then just keep adding another fifteen minutes of sleep until you reach what you feel is enough for you or you reach the eight-hour threshold.

Have a happy and healthy summer!!

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