Have y’all seen this quote plastered all over nursery walls on Instagram?
It was written about me. (Not actually, since Napoleon said it and he’s dead now). But I am a big believer in the benefits of getting good sleep.
In college, I could easily stay up until 4am and still get 8 hours of sleep (those were the days!) But once I entered adulthood and started working full-time, I began living off of 6 or 7 hours a sleep a night. This left me yawning, unfocused, unproductive, and anxious. It wasn’t healthy. So over the last year or so, I’ve transformed my sleep habits and started to really prioritize rest. I’ve now become a person who goes to bed EARLY.
To be honest, this transition was not self-inspired. My boyfriend gets up for work around 5:30am. I consider this to be a torture sentence, but he somehow has not yet quit his job in an exhausted fit of rage. To live this lifestyle, he goes bed around 10. Because I like to be snuggle-suffocated when falling asleep and because it is a healthy relationship routine to go to bed together, I usually choose to join him in his bedtime for the elderly. The difference is that when he walks out the door in the morning, I roll over and sleep for an additional 2.5 hours (thanks to my 15 minute morning routine).
I know what you’re thinking – couldn’t you also get up at 5:30 and take advantage of the morning? Go to the gym? Make breakfast? Journal? Shower every once in a while? And the answer is simply no. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I am a person for whom mornings are evil, and who am I to fight that?
Getting 10 hours of sleep has changed my life. I can’t even tell you the difference I feel on a day to day basis. I’m no longer constantly yawning at my desk at work, and I feel so much more focused and productive. I’m more alert and ready to work all day long.
More sleep has also benefited my mental health – when I’m sleepier, I’m way more anxious. That’s just science:
“With sufficient REM sleep, we feel emotionally balanced, and able to regulate our emotions and make good judgments. Our brain works and processes information as it should. Without it, we’re moodier, prone to irrationality and poor decision-making, and have difficulty remembering things.”
When I don’t get enough sleep, I can tell that I don’t have a great hold on my emotions. My tear count goes way up when I’m tired! Getting good rest balances my mind and my emotions, and makes me feel more like me. It is now a key part of my mental health regiment in my struggle with anxiety.
I know getting 10 hours of sleep is probably not a lifestyle I can keep up forever. Rumor has it that having kids cuts down on your sleep time. So I’m taking advantage of it while I can, and I have no regrets.
How much sleep do you get? How much sleep do you wish you got? Let me know in the comments!