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Sleep: The Under-Rated Factor

“So many executives bragged about how little sleep they need, wearing their sleep deprivation like a badge of honor. Now, it’s changing.” Arianna Huffington 

In order to be a successful learner, it is important to live a healthy life. Often, we associate healthiness with exercising daily or dieting. But, we may be overlooking one of the most important elements of health: sleep.

Regardless of whether you are a student or a professional, sleep is necessary in order for our bodies to recover.

Additionally, sleep deprivation has many short and long term effects on health, including:

  • Decrease in concentration levels
  • Increase in Cortisol, leading to high stress
  • Impaired decision making and attention
  • Slow reaction time

Also, over long periods of time, lack of sleep can lead to:

  • ADHD
  • A decrease in lifespan
  • A decrease in immunity

If living a healthy life is vital to being a receptive, efficient learner, it’s clear that not getting enough sleep is a huge setback to success.

Our Dysfunctional Relationship with Sleep  

Even though the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that adults aged 18-60 should get at least 7 hours of sleep each night in order to promote well-being and health, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis.

A Harvard Medical study stated that Insomnia is costing U.S workforce over $63.2 Billion a year. This alarming statistic gave employers huge pause for concern, prompting companies like Huffington Post, Hubspot and Hootsuite to install nap rooms and offering flexible working hours, leading to an increase in productivity and creativity. 

And, college students too are facing a similar battle with sleep. Although being a student can be challenging with part-time jobs and assignments, it is important to note that all-nighters have been scientifically proven to result in lower grades. Researchers from St. Lawrence University found a correlation between sleeping patterns of a sample size of 111 students and their GPA. Those who regularly pulled all-nighters had lower grades.

Reconnecting With Sleep

The Sleep Foundation makes several suggestions for making our sleeping habits healthier. These include:

  • Sticking to the same sleep schedule: This helps your body clock get used to daily routines, and helps you fall to sleep faster
  • Having a bedtime ritual: Shutting off screens, creating a cozy environment to sleep in and doing an activity (like reading or meditating), will help you feel relaxed
  • Exercising: Exercising well before bed time has proven to provide a 65% improvement in overall sleep quality

How To Be A Morning Person

WebMD states that our sleeping patterns rely on our existing internal biological clocks. While some are naturally shorter, others are slightly long. But, don’t panic yet! With a few changes in habits, sleeping patterns can be changed over time. Along with figuring out the adequate amount of hours your body needs rest, morning people have an early morning ritual that motivates and excites them for the day ahead. Some examples of early morning activities can be:

  • Exercising
  • Practicing Meditation
  • Planning Your Day
  • Creating Something

From Apple’s Tim Cook to Disney’s Bob Iger, many successful people start their day off early and take advantage of their morning routine. In fact, a study done by researchers from the University of Nottingham found that our will power is highest during the day, resulting in significant tasks being done with effectiveness and creativity.

Now that you know the key to a well-rested mind, we encourage you to put it to good use and learn something new by enrolling in a course today!

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