Thursday, December 22, 2016

Sleep's trickle-down effect

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you're sleep-deprived these days. Did you know that nearly one-third of all Americans are? And now that the holidays are nearly upon us, even more people are suffering from lack of sleep. The to-do list is simply much longer than any normal day will allow.

What to do? Well, for one thing—try to be much more realistic about that to-do list. Does everything really need to be done? Does it need to be done now? Can it wait? Or can it go off the list altogether? Can someone else do it?

Then, too, be realistic about your daily schedule and be sure you get to bed earlier. Be disciplined and religious in your sleep habits, knowing that when you aren't and when you are severely sleep-deprived, your health suffers. You can't work at an optimal level. You aren't able to think and function as well. You open yourself up to illness. And everything that might ever cause you stress will increase exponentially. It simply isn't worth it.

Engage in good self-care. Start with a good night's sleep. That will make it easier to make good food choices and other decisions as well. You'll be kinder to others, and that will be returned to you. There are just so many good reasons to get sufficient sleep. And very few good reasons to deprive yourself!

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