There isn’t a single person out there that doesn’t wish they could get more done in a single day. Typically, when we are busy we let important health aspects of our lives slip, like diet, sleep, and exercise. However, lack of sleep is the only one that costs the U.S. economy $411 billion in lost productivity per year.
You read that right. Billion. Although it seems most of us are too busy for a good night’s sleep, consider one of these tricks to catch up on sleep.
The Impact of Sleeplessness
The reasons most of us don’t get enough sleep are plentiful. Whether it is your work/travel schedule, deadlines, bingeing TV, or other stresses of life keeping you awake at night, there is a huge impact on your overall health when you’re not getting enough rest.
Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder took a look at a group of healthy adults who agreed to be examined in a sleep lab. Some of the individuals were allowed to sleep no more than five hours per night for five nights. They found the following to be true.
- Lack of sleep leads to weight gain.
- People who don’t get at least seven hours of sleep on a regular basis are more likely to become pre-diabetic.
- Your concentration and productivity will suffer when you don’t get enough sleep.
- There are ways to catch up on sleep and reverse these negative effects.
Strategies to Catch Up on Sleep
Researchers found that, although lack of sleep can have a negative impact on your health, you can make up for it. For instance, if you only got four hours of sleep last night, you can hit the bed early tonight and it will even out for your health and body.
Most people need seven hours each night or 49 hours per week. So, you can take naps and/or sleep in on the weekends if you aren’t able to get a full seven hours every day during the week. Here are a few strategies to help you catch up on sleep.
- Sleep in on the weekend, but be careful. You don’t want to overload on sleep. Too much will leave you feeling groggy.
- Take a nap. But make sure you don’t lay down after 3 p.m. If it is late afternoon, just wait until you’re ready for bed!
- Snooze after your cup of joe. This method is a “caff nap.” Coffee typically takes about 20 minutes to fully kick in, so you can take a quick nap and wake up energized. (This method is popular with people driving long distances.)
All in all, the long-term effects of not getting the proper amount of sleep can be detrimental. If you can, the best thing to do is carve out some time to catch up on sleep and practice self-care. Remember, you’re wasting time and money if you aren’t getting the proper amount of sleep each night.
Readers, how often do you get the recommended seven hours?