Have you ever had one of those days where everything felt like it went wrong? You missed an important call, you were late to a meeting, you forgot to pick up the kids from soccer practice, and every little detail made you squirm with anxiety. We all have these kinds of days. If we rewind the clock back to the previous night, we may find the culprit. Our sleep, or lack thereof, influences our mind in various ways and this manifests itself throughout our daily actions. If you’ve never examined your sleep schedule or optimized how you go to bed each night, maybe this article will change your mind.
Sleep and Its Role in Our Mental Health
Whether you work in a mentally-demanding field or you rely on sheer strength to make a living, our brain plays a vital role in how we function every day. Things like energy levels, mood regulation, critical thinking, and a logical approach to daily challenges are all influenced by the rest we get the previous night. In fact, people who invest money into their sleep setup, such as purchasing the best bamboo sheets or buying a new mattress, tend to lead happier and more productive lives.
This is not just hearsay either. A study released by Harvard Medical School attempted to find out why a good night’s sleep is paramount to our ability to operate at the highest level. Their data concluded that quality sleep improved our immune system functionality, elevated our ability to learn new tasks and concepts, gave us the ability to recall small details from the past, and much more. They further go on to explain that people who are sleep deprived on a regular basis have difficulty making mental connections between tasks and information related to key concepts. For a person that’s well-rested, finding unknown links between valuable data allows them to succeed not only in their place of work but in their platonic and romantic relationships.
The researchers also went on to find that a healthy sleep routine was conducive to a well-maintained attention span and memory formation. In our sleep, we go through various sleep cycles such as non-rapid-eye-movement sleep and rapid-eye-movement sleep (REM). During our REM sleep, our brain solidifies learned data that we’ve accumulated throughout the prior weeks and months. For students, they may find that they’re able to recall information pertaining to their studies after a restful night of slumber. Similarly, students who found themselves sleep-deprived, or only receiving a few hours, were unable to understand the study materials as well as their well-rested peers.
Improve Your Sleep Today
Regardless if you’re a student or you’ve been in the workforce for decades, the ability to perform at your best is an absolute must. Imagine a world where you wake up energized and ready to take on any setbacks that may arise throughout your day. Not only that, but you may find that your employer takes notice of your newfound enthusiasm and gives you that long-awaited promotion. If this scenario sounds like something you may enjoy, we suggest following the steps located below:
- First, make sure that you go to bed and wake up at the same time each day
- Prior to going to sleep, turn off all cellular devices, laptops, television and reading technology
- Eliminate white light from your room and make the space as dark as possible
- Use blackout curtains to block early-morning sunlight
- Disregard over-the-counter sleep remedies as these can diminish your quality of sleep
- Keep an updated journal of your sleep patterns and make notes of certain elements that keep you from achieving high-quality rest
Lead Life on Your Terms
By following the techniques listed above, you will begin to notice a lifestyle that you once thought impossible to manage. Instead of taking a nap in the middle of the day, or reaching for another cup of coffee, your energy will be at an all-time high. Remember that mother nature gave us one of the most powerful tools available to heal our body — sleep! Although it may seem easier to rush to the local store and load up on sleep remedy medications, you can achieve a sense of wellness by adjusting your habits.