The Importance of Sleep
Studies have found that the greater the degree of sleep deprivation, the greater the apparent adverse effects.
While one compromised sleep doesn’t come with extreme consequences, chronic sleep deprivation does, with its effects spanning across our cognitive, emotional, hormonal, cardiovascular, and immune health.
Despite this, it is estimated that 30% of adults get below the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Sleep is clearly an integral part of our well-being, so how could this be the case?
North America has glorified a work-focused, fast-paced culture. This mentality is coined as “hustle culture”, wherein sacrificing your moment-by-moment happiness and well-being for the promise of future success is celebrated. Hustle culture will try to convince you that working harder, faster, and stronger, coincides with greater success. When the to-do lists get longer, sleep is put on the back burner and justified as the one demand that can be “put off”.
The values of hustle culture ironically reduce one’s productivity over time as the brain becomes overworked and struggles to function in its most optimal state. Sleep enhances memory, learning, problem-solving, creativity, emotional processing, and judgment. Contrary to what hustle culture may have you believe, a good quality sleep is a competitive edge. After all, it’s where we go to dream.
When we combine hustle culture with the overwhelming amount of stimulants and stressors in our modern world that inhibit sleep (think: coffee, artificial lights, and smartphones) it is no wonder why the average person is failing to value, and achieve a good night's rest.
Luckily, there are ways to optimize your sleep, despite the societal pressures and challenges that work against this.