Life in the Fast Lane. You expect the Zipping and Zooming. Turns out in 2014, Life in the Slow Lane moves at a pretty fast clip. Is this a good? Or with each Zip and Zoom are you driving yourself deeper into a state of chronic exhaustion and sleep deprivation?
You’re wired to rest and sleep. Maybe you can get away with pushing yourself and still “function” in an exhausted state for a short period of time (a Badge of Honor in some circles). Long term, there are serious ramifications.
Sleep deprivation has been a form of torture from way-back-when. It includes: not enough time actually sleeping, having your sleep disrupted, and having your sleep be unrestful.
Why should you want restful, uninterrupted, prolonged sleep?
1. Attitude ~ You don’t get enough sleep, you’re going to be a grouch. Grouches are neither pleasant to be nor be around. (Besides, irritable people tend to fight a lot.)
2. Accidents ~ When you’re barreling down the road in a multi-ton vehicle or operating a multi-ton piece of machinery, and your reflexes aren’t up to par, bad things can happen…to you and others. (They can also happen when you’re slicing an orange to make orange juice and because you’re so tired, you wind up slicing your thumb to the bone!)
3. Aesthetics/Vanity ~ You are not going to look attractive toting around huge steamer trunks under your eyes, or having eyes dull and glazed over.
4. Creativity and Coherent Speech ~ While you may be able to maintain a certain level of “functioning” in your day-to-day exhausted-life, creativity, articulating your thoughts, and speaking coherently require high-energy. (In short supply amongst the sleep deprived.)
5. Emotions ~ Whacked out hormones aren’t the only thing that’ll make you emotional. Go for the whacked out sleeping pattern and see how emotional you get. (This is incredibly irritating if you’re fond of being in control and professional.)
6. Focus and Concentration ~ Have you noticed when you’re focusing very hard (studying perhaps), or concentrating intensely, your appetite increases? That’s your brain demanding fuel.
7. Happy Head ~ Headaches are uninvited guests. They come. They stay for extended periods of time. They make themselves at home. And the “homes” they like best are attached to the bodies of the sleep deprived.
8. Immune System ~ Germs, bacteria, and viruses are on patrol 24/7. They find any way into your immune system, they’re going to come in, wreck havoc and make you feel lousy. Sleep is one of the essential ingredients to maintaining a strong immune system.
9. Learning ~ When you’re busy spacing because you’re so incredibly tired, not much is going to get in. Your short-term memory is also affected which cuts down on your retention/learning ability
10. Libido ~ Sleep deprivation causes major diminishment. (To say nothing of your enjoyment and/or performance.)
Turns out those seriously sleep deprived share much in common with those of high blood alcohol levels. (There’s also quite a bit of research going on into the connection between long-term sleep deprivation to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and even genetic disruption.) There’s value in allowing yourself to sleep. Go for it!
Here’s wishing you and yours many nights of restful, uninterrupted, and prolonged slumber.
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