How Your Sleep Schedule Impacts Your Performance All Throughout Life
Why you need your beauty rest — and how to make sure you get it.
It's no secret that getting enough sleep is good for you, but learning why sleep is important can help you gain a whole new perspective on your routine. From your academic life to your romantic relationships, sleep plays a role in almost everything. While simply getting your seven to nine hours each night is a big step, achieving quality, restful sleep is a huge part of the journey, too.
Having a comfortable place to rest your head that's free of screens and distractions is always the best way to ensure you go undisturbed during your nights. In addition, having a routine sleep schedule can help you fall asleep faster, wake up more refreshed and get all the benefits of sleep. When your body runs on a clock, you get used to sleeping on a schedule and take to it better.
Just like getting enough sleep can bring tons of amazing qualities into your life, sleep deprivation can also drag you down. There are many reasons why you should get enough quality sleep. Here's how it affects you.
How You Work
Obviously, when you're tired, your academic or professional performance will suffer as a result. But what some people don't recognize is the importance of a regular routine — not just one good night of rest before a big presentation or tough exam. Lack of sleep can limit your attention span and make it harder for you to focus on tasks. Plus, it slows your average reaction time and workflow. To get your attention and mental flow in top shape, consistent sleep is a great tool to lean on.
How You Feel Physically
Being well-rested is a great way to feel, point-blank. Regularly getting enough sleep can do amazing things for your body, from boosting your immune system to helping you focus and have more energy. Having a healthy sleep schedule can enable all your body's systems to regulate themselves better, which means sleeping can even help you lose weight and stay more hydrated.
While it's not the magic fix to everything, sleep — specifically, deep Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep — can be the key to helping you feel comfortable in your body.
How You Feel Mentally
On a mental level, sleep plays a big role in your moods and emotions. Lacking sleep can make you moody and irritable, even worsening depression and anxiety for those who already struggle. Sleep deprivation can also cause memory loss and brain fog, which are enough to put anyone in a groggy mood. However, getting enough sleep and remaining on a schedule can lift your mood and make you happier. Of course, these changes come with habit and time, but there's no better time to start.
How You Act
One little note on the irritability and moodiness — people can usually notice it. Getting too little sleep can often make you absent from conversations, more likely to lose your train of thought and much more apt to snap at someone. Think of how toddlers act when they haven't had their daily nap. On the other side of the spectrum, getting consistent, quality sleep can make you a more engaged conversationalist, attentive listener and pleasant presence around those you love and care for.
How You Look
It's what's on the inside that counts, obviously, but sometimes our external bodies can clue us into what's going on underneath. Those dealing with poor sleep may see trouble losing weight, which can impact both your appearance and how you feel on the inside. Sleep deprivation can also show through under-eye bags or dark circles and bad posture.
Lack of sleep also causes side effects like premature aging in the skin by releasing cortisol, which breaks down collagen and causes wrinkles. It's no wonder why they call it beauty sleep.
Catching Your Z's
Since you're so well-versed on how sleep impacts your life and bodily functions, it makes sense that you'll want to do everything in your power to get as much of it as possible. If you're struggling to catch those Z's, a few tips can help you:
• Put down screens an hour before bed.
• Avoid drinking caffeine past four.
• Find a white noise app or machine.
• Read before bed.
• Eat fats and carbs closer to bedtime.
If you employ a few of those techniques, you'll sleep like a baby in no time.
Rising and Shining
When you get the sleep you need, you can tackle the day full speed ahead. From office work to the conversations you have with your friends, better sleep makes a better you.