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10 Reasons Why You Need To Sleep Even Though You’re Busy

10 Reasons Why You Need To Sleep Even Though You’re Busy

You are probably very busy—we all are—but if you want to be healthy, wealthy and beautiful, you need to sleep.  Perhaps that is why Arianna Huffington entitled her TED Talk as follows: “How to succeed? Get More Sleep.”  Here are 10 Reasons why you need to sleep more even though you are busy.

1. You’ll have better physical health.

Study after study shows that denying yourself sleep has many serous health consequences.  Chronic lack of sleep increases your chances of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, heart attack and high blood pressure.

In addition, in order to stay awake during working hours, your a sleep deprived brain craves excess caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and other stimulating drugs—all of which are contributors to various health risks.

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2. You’ll be in a better mood.

When you are rested, you are in a better mood—that is why you need to sleep. You probably have noticed that when you are sleep deprived, you are moody, cranky, irritable and ready to snap at anyone.  On the other hand, when you are well rested, you are generally more content and happy.

3. You’ll be at lower risk of getting injured.

Think about it: most accidents happen when people are exhausted.  In her book: Sleep Deprived No More, Professor Mindell PHD states “When you’re overtired, you’re more likely to trip, or fall off a ladder, or cut yourself while chopping vegetables.” In the US alone, one hundred thousand car accidents per year are caused by sleep deprived drivers.

4. You’ll look better.

Another reason why you need to sleep is because when you are rested, you look better. We have all heard the expression, I need my beauty sleep—well rested people look better. If you are exhausted, you just don’t look as good.  Plus, when you are rested you are more likely to smile, and nothing enhances your good looks more than a smile. When you are sleep deprived, people perceive you as more tired, less attractive, less healthy and older than you actually are.

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5. You’ll have a healthier weight.

When you sleep well, you have energy to exercise, cook a healthy meal, play soccer with your children, and you are more likely to make healthier food choices.  On the other the hand, when you are tired, you need more energy, and you often find this energy in not so healthy foods—high calorie carbohydrates and sugar in particular. Your brain is literally telling your body to stock up on food by releasing the hunger hormone ghrelin.  And obviously you are still too exhausted to exercise and play with your children.

6. You’ll have better relationships.

Lack of sleep is likely to affect your mood, which indirectly affects your relationships.  People who are in a bad mood are often are negative, irritable, impatient and plainly rude.  We generally don’t like to hang around people who are in a bad mood.

7. You’ll be able to think more clearly.

In her book: Sleep Deprived No More, Professor Mindell, PHD states that lack of sleep “impairs your cognition, your attention, and your decision-making.” You know how you feel after pulling an all-nighter to finish up a paper. You’re not really at your best to take the final exam, are you?

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In addition, the ability to find novel solutions to complex problems are dramatically enhanced by sleep, says neuroscientist Russell Foster in his TED talk “Why Do We Sleep?.”

8. You’ll improve your mental health.

People who are chronically sleep deprived are in more mental distress and more likely to be depressed. Russell Foster in his TED talk “Why Do We Sleep?” shared his new research that demonstrated a clear link between mental health, mental illness and your sleep habits.

9. You’ll remember more.

Russell Foster also shares his research concerning how good sleep promotes and supports good memory, while lack of sleep impairs memory.  He explains that while we sleep, our brains process and consolidate memories from our day.

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10. You’ll get sick less often

One preliminary study suggests that people who sleep less than seven hours per night are three times more likely to get sick.  Sleep deprived people are more stressed and this leads to suppressed immunity. Perhaps you can remember your end of a semester exam time, you worked hard, you slept little for 2 to 3 weeks and when it was all over, you came down with a major cold.

Now you know why you need to sleep; let’s see what counts as sufficient sleep.

There is a debate regarding how many hours is enough sleep and who needs more sleep.  Some people suggest 7–9 hours per night, others say that you need to add an extra hour beyond what you think you need.  Yet, others suggest that every hour of sleep before midnight is equivalent to two hours past the midnight hour. Regardless of what the experts suggest, allocating extra time to sleep can’t hurt.  So go to bed early tonight and enjoy a happy and heathy tomorrow. :)

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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