I have always enjoyed sleeping, and throughout my life have had to hear things like, ‘Don’t waste so much time sleeping!’ or, ‘If you didn’t sleep so much, you could get much more done.’ I’d felt exactly the opposite, but had no way to challenge the accusations till much later, when my suspicions were confirmed. Recent research has proved that sleep is critical to being productive, creative and efficient. Music to my ears!
Let me explain.
Our bodies are engineering miracles which have evolved organically over millions of years. They can be very robust but come with a life-time guarantee. And bodies need time to recharge their batteries. That time is sleep.
During our day-to-day activities, our brain produces a particularly toxic chemical called Beta Amyloid. This chemical has been implicated in all brain-degenerative diseases: Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Dementia… It’s only when you sleep that your brain gets a chance to flush out this poison. Sleep makes sure your brain is not damaged by the waste it produces.
When you sleep, your body repairs itself. It goes into maintenance mode. Enough sleep and you wake up a healthier, perhaps even younger, version of yourself. There is no beauty treatment quite like sleeping for at least seven and a half hours every night.
As if this was not enough, during sleep your brain wrestles with problems you encounter during the day. When faced with a difficulty, some people often say, ‘Let me sleep over it’, and many times, they wake up with some really good ideas. Sleep makes you smarter.
We have all been through tough times in life and they leave an impact upon us. Long after we have experienced them, we still remember them and all sorts of unwanted emotional trash arise within us.
Recent research has shown that good sleep will blunt the edge of emotional trauma, routinely deleting associated emotions, so you could look back upon those times in your life and actually learn from them instead of being overwhelmed by negative emotions.
Sleep education has to reach many more people. It’s time to let go of the foolish notion that if you sleep less, you can get more done. On the contrary, if you get enough sleep, you will be more productive and end up being a much better version of yourself.
We have devoted an entire section in our recently published book Happiness Express on Sleep. Read it to find out more about how sleeping can enhance the quality of your life and the lives of the people around you.