Earlier, we shared a post on how to keep the energy and stay awake after you have burned midnight oil or stayed up late doing whatever you were doing but sleeping.
So even though there are these short term (remedies) pointers, staying up late and trying to make up for it the next day is not a sustainable lifestyle.
Sleep is a non-recoverable resource. When you lost sleep the night before, you won’t be able to recover by sleeping a few hours extra hoping to feel more rejuvenated the next day. In fact, the extra hours will only make you feel more lethargic.
What happens when Sleeping Late becomes a Habit
In the short term, you feel a lack of energy, you struggle to stay awake during the day much less keep the energy up, you experience breathlessness climbing stairs, even when walking. There is also a lack of focus or concentration, motivation and energy to do anything else.
Lack of sleep is also linked to overeating and poor food choices. Some crave food to make up for sleepy hours, because the brain is yearning for high calories to keep going.
Your critical thinking capability goes down and, your decision making capability is reduced!
You will see dark circles pretty soon enough. In the longer term, you will find your skin condition getting worse. Lack of sleep affects your performance whether you’re into academics or sports.
Over time, you see health concerns popping up. Your liver needs time to detox and rest while you are resting. When you stay awake, the time it takes to recover is lessened and it has to work harder the next day. It has to work even harder when you spent the night up partying and drinking.
But sometimes we can’t help it, right?
FOMO? Don’t, and you won’t!
While the others are spending their nights playing games or partying, you might feel like you’re missing out. At this moment, perhaps sleep feels like the last thing you’ll want to do.
This is the most common trend among all of us. If we leave an event early, there would always be this nagging feeling that the best might be at the last. If you allow yourself to feel that, you will almost make it a habit to stay till the end. If you don’t, you might miss out some parts but that’s not the end of your social relationships.
The thing about relationships is the value of the moments you share with people around you. Once you have built that relationship, it doesn’t matter whether you stay long or you have to go, they will always feel that they have connected with you then. If you don’t have that connection, it wouldn’t have mattered even when you stayed till the end of the event and helped to clean up.
Set your limits
Why not help yourself out and limit staying up to only one night a week at most? If you meant to stay up on Friday, you’ll need a day to recover, and you will need to get back on to your normal sleep routine on Saturday night, so that you won’t have to battle with insomnia on Sunday. So then, you can wake up refreshed on Monday not having to fight any blues, come to school or work cheery. (Stand out from the crowd)
Put yourself and your health in the first priority
Sleep is in great relationship with health. Between your health and your social circle, which would you choose?
While we enjoy a good time and great company, we have to break past the mindset that having a good time does not mean sacrificing our sleep. We can also have great time with friends during the day going outdoors, being active, having a great meal and conversations, or doing something meaningful together (like planning a trip!)
Say you slept at 10pm for 6 hours (wake at 4 am), you have more energy during the day as compared to sleeping at 1 am and waking at 7am.
If you’re under 25, you might think that health is of secondary importance. You might not see the effect now, but when the aging process starts, you will age faster than those who have cultivated good sleeping habits. A 40 year old who maintains good routine may still look young, whereas a 25 year old who does not even try to keep up a routine would probably look like 35.
(This is from personal experience! When I was 19, I was told I look like 25. At 20, they said I looked 27! At 21, I was literally thought to be in my 30s!)
Take your chances. Make your choice.
Early bird catches the fattest worm
They say waking up early gets you more work done. This is true, because you get to finish all your work without interruptions, when the rest are still snoozing away.
Plus, you get to finish up early and enjoy your day at slower pace while everyone rushes around. (Rushing gives a sense of urgency. Although it feels like you’re getting more done in less time, the amount of stress you put on yourself and your body is invisible – until you drain yourself out)
Having enough hours of sleep at the right time each day, and turning it into a long term habit brings you HUGE benefits.
Great energy flow, more refreshed; no need to fight sleepiness
Get more done while everyone is still hitting snooze button
Ability to focus better: Clearer mind (better-thinking process & decision making)
Productive & energetic during day
Perform better in school & at work
Better physical performance, Run better, walk better, feel better
Body feels great; liver works better (coupled with healthy diet)
Diminished dark circles
Make better (healthier) food choices
Feel better, mood easier to regulate than sleep deprived persons.
Sleeping, in right proportion plays an important part of our life and they are even more important to keep us healthy.
If the above are not enticing enough, try imagining yourself staying in the same habit of sleeping late and waking late… Imagine how you feel in the morning, your performance, your energy level and your mood. It’s not actually hard to sleep and wake early. You will need to remove distractions and have a clear plan to get started though.
Here are some useful ways to get started to sleeping early, and to healthier lifestyle
Busy yourself with productive activities all day with no nap in between
Exercise and work out – three hours before sleeping time
Eat light dinner – maximum two hours before sleep
Reduce active activities two hours before sleep
e.g watching horror/thriller/horror action videos/movies; heavy workout.
Set your sleeping environment right
e.g. Dim your room. Set your room temperature to comfortable range. Off your phone notifications
Drink hot milk 30 minutes before sleep
Have a warm glass of water by your bedside; keep a notepad to jot down things-to-do tomorrow
Lay down by 10pm, latest 11pm
Meditate or Read a book; until you fall asleep