Happy Monday morning! Are you exhausted right now reaching for that third cup of coffee? Blame it on Daylight Savings Time, yup DST. Great if you’re an early riser, terrible when you leave your office and it’s pitch black. But while DST might be a legit excuse to “lose” an hour of sleep, it’s really not going to fly any other of the 364 nights of the year. It’s been proven by experts in the sleep field to find out there are negative consequences of not getting enough shut-eye.
I’ve never been a champion sleeper. My sleep is fitful at best, and at least once a week I stare at the ceiling for a few hours, wondering desperately if the sandman has stood me up completely.
I know I am not alone. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 60 percent of Americans experience sleep problems almost every night—so many of us that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared insufficient shut-eye a public health epidemic. Chronic sleep deprivation, defined as getting fewer than six hours a night, has been linked to major problems. Our time between the sheets is when our cells divide and repair, memories are consolidated, and growth hormones are released.
Here are some reasons why you need to get the minimum of eight hours of shut-eye.
1. In the short-term, our metabolism slows, resulting in weight gain. The risk of depression and anxiety is higher. Short term memory is decreased. Poor performance on completing complex tasks. That means work, folks. Our immune function decreases, more chances to get sick. So when you are feeling bummed out that it’s cold and dark outside, go to sleep.
2. In the long-term, there is a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, and mortality rates. We want to live long right?
3. Our skin doesn’t have the time to repair, resulting in an increase in fine lines and discolorations, acne, weaker collagen, and enlarged pores. The concept of ‘getting your beauty sleep’ thing is really true,” says Chanel consulting dermatologist Amy Wechsler, MD. “Beta-endorphins and growth hormones are at their highest levels. You want to bathe your skin in as much of those good, healing molecules as possible.”
Get your Antioxidant on.
4. Get outside during the day. Sit in the sun for just 10 minutes every day. Even if you just run to the corner to get a kale salad, get out of your cubicle.
5. Pajamas are super hot right now, to wear in bed and out. So why not save yourself time and energy, sleep in your pj’s and you won’t have to worry about getting dressed in the morning. Alexander Wang showed the ultimate button-downs unbuttoned up-to-there over boxers, duh.
6. Coffee is the liquid drug equivalent of choice for most sleep-deprived human beings. There are plenty of health benefits, reduces the risk of early Alzheimer’s disease and certain cancers, and its an addictive elixir to boot. I love the smell and atmosphere that coffee brings to my kitchen every morning.
6. Establish a routine. Go to bed at a normal hour during the week. And a good pillow doesn’t hurt.
So, we’re left to embrace these ch ch cha cha..changes, David Bowie,
Turn off those electronic devices (That is actually working, BTW) Keep your room dark. Get an eye mask, it helps. And load up on pajamas, a sleep mask, Bach remedy night spray, socks, socks for your arms, and dream on. I just did.
Here you go: