It's the end of an long day of work but you've finished it. As you head out the door you remember the kids need to be picked up and taken to practice, laundry needs to be switched, the dogs needs to be walked, and dinner needs to be made.
You start to feel the overwhelming sense of stress and anxiety take over your body. You find yourself rushing to get from point to point, trying to finish everything in time. But still, inside of yourself you don't feel well.
As you lay down at night, your mind still can't rid itself of the anxious state of thinking that more needs to be done. Instead of sleeping, you end up suffering by an endless stream of thoughts. Tossing and turning you find yourself wide awake in the middle of the night.
You think "How can I stop this from happening to me?".
You know something is not okay, you just do not know what it is.
Did you know that as human beings we actually spend an average of one third of our lives in bed? One third! That means that in one single 24 hour day, we are in bed for 8 hours, the equivalent of an average workday. Over the course of an 80-year lifetime that’s 233,600 hours in bed for a total of 26.4 years!
So as we reach the end of our lives, when we look back to reflect, we won’t even remember 26.4 years worth of time, because we were asleep. Even though we don’t remember them, those hours spent asleep have had a tremendous impact on our waking lives. The quality of our sleep influences our ability to function, to be productive, and to have energy.
What do you feel like when you skip a night of sleep? I can tell you personally, it takes me at last two days to get caught back up! So if I stay awake for 24 hours I personally suffer for the next 48.
We all intend to go to sleep after a long day. Even though you intended to sleep, but can’t how do you feel? Do you feel less productive the next day? You know how you seem to go through the day on automatic, not really being present and probably can’t remember anything that happened by the end of the day?
So, if sleep makes us more productive and able to work more efficiently, why is it that when we are busy the first thing to be skipped is sleep?
Let’s take a look at what exactly happens to the body when we skip a night of sleep. Because the physical body is craving sleep and is too tired to function as normal, the physical body relies on the release of the hormone adrenaline to stay awake.
Adrenaline is an important hormone, and it is important to our existence. Adrenaline gives us that rush to achieve super human feats like to jumping out of a window during a fire. Adrenaline serves us in these kind of situations, however, to be pumped with adrenaline while sitting at your cubicle at work is highly destructive.
Lack of sleep can also be deadly. Of the individuals suffering from insomnia, 90% of this population has another serious health disorder. Meaning that insomnia is a contributing factor to severe chronic diseases.
Sleeping is very important. I’m going to stand on my soapbox for a minute to get something straight. As active members in our community, we are busy, we have careers and families, we have commitments to clubs and associations for which we belong. When asked “how do you do it all?” Many people will reply, “I don’t sleep.”
I want each of you to learn to change this mentality. Lack of sleep should not be associated with success. Success should be associated with well-rested, alert human beings. If not, you will suffer from burnout. It may not happen tomorrow, but you will reach a point in which your body will not physically allow you to continue at that rate. So the next time someone asks you “how do you manage to do it all?” I want your response to be, I am well rested so that I can work with optimal efficiency. That is planning to be successful for the long haul. Okay, I’ll step off the soapbox now.
At Shyft, we talk a lot about being proactive, about being intentional with your health. If you are mindful of the activities and the necessities that make you healthy, you will be able to live and function at a higher level of being. When you have your health, you have the capability of accomplishing your goals and desires.
Licensed Massage Therapist, MA #75533
350 Treemonte Dr., Orange City, FL 32763