There’s a measurable effect from lack of sleep, from monetary cost, to lost efficiency, to changes in mood and health (including weight), to an impact on lifespan. Sleep is the cause and solution to so many problems that experts are on a mission to get Americans to sleep more, because right now, most aren’t getting enough.
Without at least seven hours of sleep a night, you start to lose mental acuity, and over time, accumulate health problems. It’s common to think you can get by with less sleep, but research has shown over and over again that in many different ways, less sleep means less focus, more mistakes, and other declines.
Start by carving out time for at least seven hours of sleep. Some people are genetically programmed to need more, but start with seven hours. Once you get used to sleeping enough, the extra time you spend sleeping will reappear in increased efficiency. If you’re spending extra time working, you’ll get faster and better results, which should give you more time in the day.
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And make sure you’re setting yourself up for success. Alcohol and caffeine (especially the closer to bed you get) can interfere with sleep, and so can your cell phones (if it has an LED light that blinks as it charges, cover it up, but even better to remove the temptation). The right temperature, a soothing smell, and the right sheets/mattress can help with sleep.
How much sleep do you get?