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The Dangerous Effects of #SleepShaming & Why It Needs to STOP!

27th February 2017 by Suz No comments

My name is Suzanne.

And for most of my life, I was a sleep shamer.

I used to wear my sleepless nights like a badge of honor, and scoff at those who thought it prudent to get a full night’s sleep.

“I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”

“Ya snooze ya lose.”

“No one looks back on their life and remembers the nights they had plenty of sleep.”

However, getting a full night’s rest greatly improves your memory, so it’s those who sleep who will remember their life at all.

As a teenager I did nothing but sleep. I loved the snooze button so much I missed my re-take of the SATs, waking up at 3pm in the afternoon and realizing the test was probably over by then.

By freshman year of college people began actually calling me Snooze. 

But once I began interning in the music industry that following year, everything changed. I got a taste of the fast-paced, never-stop New York City lifestyle and sleep and I parted ways.

I became the QUEEN of multitasking. By junior year I was taking 7 classes and working 3 part-time jobs. Friends didn’t matter. Family didn’t matter. Sleep and eating right were easily the first to go.

It wasn’t until I was 28 and was diagnosed with Lymes that I finally decided I had to make sleep a priority.

Making that shift, I saw the improvements in my work and productivity. I began reading up on the positive effects of sleep and how dangerous our society’s outlook is on considering sleep a waste of time.

Sleep allows us to digest our experiences from the day, rid our body and brain of harmful toxins, and reboot ourselves for the day ahead. 

Without sleep we are more likely to make impulsive decisions, increase our levels of stress, anxiety, and depression, and have a weakened immune system.

One of the best books I’ve read on the subject has been Arianna Huffington’s latest, The Sleep Revolution.

So, before you go to your next mixer and brag about how you much you didn’t sleep, or let someone shame you into feeling lazy because you did sleep, consider these facts Ms. Huffington lays out in her book:

1. “63% of men who suffered a heart attack also had a sleep disorder” (p. 26).

2. “People who get 6 hours of sleep per night are 23% more likely to be overweight… less than 4 hours of sleep per night and the increased likelihood of being overweight climbs to a staggering 73%” (p. 27).

3. “…after being awake for 17-19 hours… we can experience levels of cognitive impairment equal to having a blood alcohol level of .05%” (p. 30). The legal limit in NYS is .08.

4. “…our loss of sleep, despite the extra hours we put in at work, adds up to more than 11 days of lost productivity per year per worker” (p. 23).

5. Going from regularly sleeping 8 hours to sleeping 6 hours for 5 nights in a row, “fine lines and wrinkles increased by 45%, blemishes went up by 13%, and redness increased by 8%” (p. 28). [click to tweet]. Respect yourself enough to get the rest you need to be your best self.

 


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