With 74% of adults reporting to get less than seven hours of sleep each night, there’s a far more personal “national debt crisis” looming in our country—sleep debt! By running “in the red” year after year we fall into sleep-deprived bankruptcy which shows up in our lives looking like frequent illnesses, accidents, serious disease diagnoses, and sadly, decreased longevity.
As grownups, we’ve been created to balance our “sleep checkbooks” with a ratio of one sleep deposit for every two awake withdrawals, or more specifically, eight hours of sleep for 16 hours of wakefulness. This balanced account allows our bodies to repair, regenerate, replenish, and restore all of the cells, hormones, and neurotransmitters we need to keep ourselves running optimally.
When you begin to realize all the health you’re missing, and all the diseases you are accumulating by being under slept, your motivation to sleep more will become renewed. One of the best ways to get a full night’s sleep is simply to plan for it. Live your day in a way that allows you to be in bed, lights out, eyelids closed, 7-8 hours before your alarm clock rings (biologically or literally).
Make sure you set the stage for a good night’s sleep before you climb into bed. Dim the lights 1-2 hours before bed, unplug from “glowing devices”, and clear your room of noise, and distractions such as children, animals, or just plain clutter. Finally, set mental boundaries governing what subjects can be reviewed as you lie there waiting to fall asleep. Think only about what you accomplished, what brought you joy, and how you blessed others. Leave the unsettling thoughts outside your bedroom.
Sweet dreams…and may your sleep account become as black as the night!