My motto has always been; I'll rest when I'm dead. Recently, my life has turned onto the fast lane and I'm starting to lose steam! I'd be lying to you if I said I get more than a few hours’ sleep a night. I seem to find the space to squeeze in one more thing, but I've been doing it by edging out sleep. Yesterday my coworkers ganged-up on me. They voice very loudly that my usually entertaining "high-spirited" personality was quickly turning into annoying and cranky. So they took it upon themselves to re-educate me on the importance of sleep.
The Harvard Women’s Health Watch suggests six reasons to get enough sleep:
- Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later.
- Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.
- Safety: Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.
- Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do.
- Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.
- Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.
I called in sick today.