Has it been one of those days where you just have to have a cup (or two!) of coffee before you feel human? Like consuming copious amounts of caffeine is the only way you’re going to be able to function through the day? Do you ever wonder if maybe you just changed your lifestyle a little bit at a time, you’d be able to step away from the mug and survive on your own? I bet you can!
I realize this is starting to sound a bit like an infomercial, but I promise you I’m not trying to sell you anything. I find that working in an office full of caffeine-craving coworkers, it never ceases to amaze me that some people really can’t go a day without coffee when all I need is water. Why is that? I guess people don’t make sleep a priority because they know as long as they have there chemical crutch, they’re going to be able to defeat the drowsiness (chemical dependence, my friends!) and carry on with their responsibilities. The problem with this is, people like me who do get enough sleep are forced to share the road with you sleep-deprived drivers, and that’s putting us all at risk. Studies show driving on little sleep can actually impair us as much as (or more!!) than alcohol*. Just don’t do it.
Not only does sleep make you feel more awake, but it actually helps you to fight the cold and flu! Sleep boosts your immune system and gives your body time to heal. If you aren’t sleeping enough, chances are your body isn’t getting enough time to fix itself and fight infections.
How do you fix it though? Don’t stay up all hours of the night because you just have to finish the newest season of It’s Always Sunny in one sitting. Figure out how many hours of sleep you need a night and just do it. Go to bed. Set an alarm for the time you need to be in bed if you have to. I personally keep track of my sleep times with my Fitbit, and I pay close attention to my sleep debt and try to make it up whenever I can, but you definitely don’t need to have technology to do that! If you DO have a Fitbit, there’s this nifty website I like to use called Sleep Debt that hooks up to your account and tells you what time you need to go to bed to make up your missed sleep! They’ll even text you to let you know when it’s time to go to bed. cute.
All you have to do is enter what time you are getting up the next day, how many hours of sleep you want every night and…ta-da! The hours that you need to make up magically appear as well as what time you need to go to bed. They don’t want you to make up too much at once, so they’ll have you make up just a little bit at a time.
Sounds easy, right? Here’s the deal: the amount of sleep you get is important, but the quality of your sleep makes a difference too. We’re going to harness the mystical powers of my Fitbit once again as an example. Fitbit tells me how long I slept, how many times I woke up, and even how many times I tossed and turned throughout the night. It even keeps a handy chart on the side for me with my sleep stats.
awesome.I find the nights I’m most restless are the nights that I sit in front of my computer or stare at my phone screen right before bed. Sometimes I pretend my sleep efficiency is a game and I have to beat my previous high score, because I’m a nerd like that.
How do I get so close to my goal all of the time? How do I wind down and make sure I get a good night’s sleep? HOW DO YOU EVEN LIVE WITHOUT CAFFEINE?! I’ll have tips and tricks in tomorrow’s post, so stay tuned!!
*For more information on driving tired, visit here
Edit: Here’s the sleep tips post!