Are you a glass half-empty kind of person? Someone who feels that there might be something missing in your life? Someone who looks at other, more positive, healthier people and wishes that your life could be a little more like theirs?
Unless you have a Fairy Godmother knocking around, chances are things ain’t gonna change until you do something about it yourself. If you’re stuck in a rut, well, you’ll just have to climb your way out. If life is giving you lemons, you sure as hell better get that lemonade recipe going. And if you’re not happy with the direction you’re headed, it’s time to put your foot firmly on the brakes… then continue down another path.
There are several ways in which you can do this, of course. One involves eating the right foods. Another focuses on getting more fresh air and exercise. But the most important thing you can do to start feeling happier and to have a better quality of life, is to improve the way in which you sleep.
Why is this so important? Well, read on to find out…
1. It boosts your health
Sleep is essential for our physical and mental health. Physically, it strengthens our immune system and leaves us less vulnerable to the little things, like colds and bugs, plus the bigger things, like diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Plus a well-rested brain is more likely to make healthier decisions. You’ll choose the salad over that burger. You’ll go jogging after work instead of crashing out on the couch. You’ll be able to make it through the day without 4 cups of coffee. Those morning people, the health nuts in the office who always have so much energy, aren’t on some kind of magic beans. (Well, probably not.) They just get their 7-9 hours of sleep every night – simple as that.
Mentally, sleep makes us more rested and positive people, less prone to stress, anxiety and depression. It gives us the energy to enjoy life to its fullest – to be those glass half-full people that we’ve always wanted to be.
2. It makes you nicer
There’s a reason why people say “Let’s sleep on it”. It’s because, after a good sleep, you’re more capable of making smart decisions. You’re less likely to fly off the handle at a co-worker or burst into tears if your boyfriend questions your choice of outfit. And since a well-rested mind is also more patient, more tolerant and more caring… well, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that getting enough sleep can make you a better person. You’ll remember to get your neighbour a birthday treat. You’ll call your parents more often for a chat. You’ll help that stranger with their shopping.
Start getting a decent sleep every night and pretty soon you’ll notice yourself becoming a kinder, more thoughtful person to those around you. The result being stronger relationships and another step closer to a better life.
3. It can boost your career
You know those days when you’re a whirlwind of productivity and creativity? Coming up with great ideas for that big pitch, finishing that project in record time, training in that new intern…all before 11 am?! Whereas other days you can barely manage to remember your name when signing in.
The difference between these two people is simple. One’s had enough sleep, the other hasn’t. Maybe it’s because those sundowners went on for far too long after sundown. Or the latest Netflix drama had you glued to your screen until 1 am. In any case, you ended up underslept and extremely unproductive.
On the other hand, once you start getting enough, good-quality sleep every night, your productivity will soar. You’ll make better decisions quickly, you’ll be more creative and you’ll be nicer to be around in general. Sounds like the makings of a happy boss, right?!
4. It’ll broaden your horizons
When we’re underslept and over-stressed, we tend to live quite narrow lives. Our days revolve around work and food and we get so caught up in the rat race, it’s hard to see the bigger picture.
When you’re well-rested, though, you let a lot more space in. You can learn to be more mindful of the actions you do, of the things you see, of the people you meet. You appreciate all these encounters all the more, plus you become more open to new ones. You might feel the urge to travel, to try out an art class, to learn a new language. All the things you’ve always wanted to do but simply lacked the energy, or the open-mindedness, to try.
So by getting enough sleep every night, you can start to challenge yourself in new and exciting ways. And a better life, the life you’ve only dreamed of previously, will be that much closer.
Take my advice… next time you find yourself in that rut, unsure of yourself and your life, go to bed early that night and get some rest. You’ll find that things will look a lot rosier come morning.