Ten Reasons to Get More Sleep So You Can Conquer the World

Ten Reasons to Get More Sleep So You Can Conquer the World

Ten Reasons to Get More Sleep So You Can Conquer the World

Ten Reasons to Get More Sleep So You Can Conquer the World

Recently, I finished reading the wonderful Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, Ph.D. First off, I have to say that reading it put me to sleep instantly, but not in a bad way. Most everything I read puts me to sleep and that may be why reading takes me so long! Because by page two or three, I’m nodding off.  Turns out, falling asleep that quickly may be a positive trait. No matter who you are, sleep is critical.

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Lose Weight

If you have difficulty losing weight, turns out that if you sleep more, you’ll lose more weight. Somehow, I always believed that if you were awake you’d burn more calories and hence lose more weight. But lack of sleep can cause that stubborn weight to stick around. In studies outlined in Matthew Walker’s book, those who slept 4-5 hours per night were far more ravenous than those who slept longer. Not only that, but the “short sleepers” actually ate more.

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Solve Problems

You might not believe that REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep would help with problem-solving abilities, but it does. And isn’t it important for everyone to sharpen their problem-solving abilities? Say, for instance, CEOs and those in startups? Not to mention those coming up with new apps, those who are involved with technology, or anyone who has to use their brain to solve problems? Finding more balance between work and life always seems to be an issue for those in the working world, and now more than ever finding the time to sleep is critical. You might like: See Why Work-Life Balance is the Unicorn of the Working Life.

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Remember All the Things

If you’re someone who relies upon their memory for anything, getting enough sleep is critical. Is it any wonder that there are so many startups out there who are tackling the problems we all have of not getting enough shut-eye? Here’s an excellent article outlining some of the top startups looking at sleep apps and devices: 10 Promising Startups That Are Tackling Sleep Disorders.

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Be Smarter

If there was something out there that could make you smarter, and it was free and without side effects, wouldn’t you run to get it? Sleep is just that, and yet somehow the idea that sleep is something you can “catch up on” pervades our collective psyches. People say they’ll “sleep when they’re dead”–not actually true, but there is a certain machismo in that idea, and it was funny for about ten minutes. Perhaps you might like to hear it from Entrepreneur magazine, in their article, The Science Behind How Sleep Makes You Smarter.

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Lowers Risk of Heart Attacks

Who wants fewer heart attacks? Who wants no heart attacks? Again, sleep lowers your risk of heart attacks. People who sleep less have more heart attacks. If you’re working for a startup, wouldn’t you like the person leading your team to be around for a while longer? According to Matthew Walker, Ph.D., “Adults forty-five years or older who sleep fewer than six hours a night are 200 percent more likely to have a heart attack or stroke during their lifetime, as compared with those sleeping seven to eight hours a night.”

Makes You Happier

Who doesn’t want to be happier? Isn’t that the reason we have hobbies, friends, and buy things we don’t really need? I’m joking–a little bit here. Natalie Kogan in her article The Magic of a Good Night’s Sleep says that a recent Gallup poll shows that people who got adequate sleep are more likely to rate their lives as happier.

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Protects from Alzheimer’s Disease

If anyone in your family suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, you understand how devastating that diagnosis can be. But wait–what if there were something that you could do to help protect yourself from dementia? Well, there is! Sleep! Like cancer, Alzheimer’s is influenced by sleep or the lack of it. And in fact, sleep disturbance may be an early warning sign of Alzheimer’s. Matthew Walker, Ph.D. discusses how over 60 percent of patients with Alzheimer’s disease have at least one clinical sleep disorder.

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Lowers Food Cravings

When you don’t get enough sleep you crave “comfort foods” more often. And it turns out that comfort foods don’t typically include foods such as broccoli and carrot sticks. Is that any big surprise? There are many studies linking sleep deprivation and junk food, like this study from Berkeley: Sleep Deprivation Linked to Junk Food Cravings. And in case you were wondering whether the reverse was true–it is. Junk food may also lead to sleep deficits. Unfortunately.

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Fewer Car Crashes

When we’re sleepy, our driving suffers, too. There are more car crashes when we move the clocks ahead here in California. And when we “fall back” with the clocks that extra hour of sleep causes car accidents and deaths from driving incidents to plummet. Recently, there was a proposition here in California to end the time changes. I know because I was one of the sleepy people who voted for it. It’s still not a law yet, though. There are still some hurdles before the proposition becomes law.

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Live Longer

By now you’re thinking, “I guess now you’re going to say that sleeping longer makes you live longer, too!” Why yes, I am! There are numerous studies saying that more sleep is better. But don’t fear. Some studies say that you can increase your longevity with seven hours of sleep, and maybe six hours is ok, too.

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Do You Sleep Enough?

There are at least ten more reasons to get enough sleep. For instance, athletes have begun tracking their sleep. Do you get enough? If not, do you have a goal that you’re trying to reach? Leave me a comment! Unless you’d rather take a nap, that is. And thank you for staying awake long enough to read this.

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  1. Hi Carol,

    I had a big smile as I read how reading makes you fall asleep. ;-) I’m the same way even reading from a Kindle with the supposed bad light. Only certain books can keep me awake and moving through pages at a much faster speed.

    So much good sleep information right here in this one post. Thanks for sharing it with us.


    • Hi Patricia,

      Maybe we were both cats in a previous life. I’ve noticed that my cats can nod off in any old position, any time, anywhere. They are the consummate sleep experts. Maybe we need to start reading when we’re not at all sleepy? I don’t know the answer.

      Thanks for reading. I really enjoyed the book on sleep (Why We Sleep).

      Best to you,

  2. Dyane Harwood says

    Hi Carol! I love the pics of the Bixby Bridge & the adorable kitty! My sleep sucks.
    We’re going to focus on it in acupunture. I see a fantastic acupunctuist in Santa Cruz, Dr. Kayoko Yamamoto. I asked her if I could try one of the herbal complex she sells (Gui Pi Tang by Evergreen) that’s supposed to help. I’ll let you know how that goes.

    I almost signed up for the Calm app’s free trial, but I got nervous because I worried I’d forget to cancel it and get charged a chunk of change. If it was only $5/month, I wouldn’t freak but I think it was a lot more than that. I might be wrong because….I’m so sleep deprived! ????My friend Becky Lawrence (you might have seen her on Twitter—she’s connected with the Mental Health Book Club) said the app helps her. I might change my mind about it.

    Hope you have a good Digi chat today! Sending you (((hugs))) & thanks for another excellent, super-relevant post!

    Dyane :)))

    p.s. it’s amazing how practically everyone on Twitter who actually reads my tweets, (which is not that many) are ignoring my tweets to only use one or two hashtags. What’s that about? Denial?### Addiction?

    • Hi Dyane, So glad you enjoyed the pictures! Sorry about your sleep sucking. There are so many stars that need to line up so that we can sleep, aren’t there? That acupuncturist sounds fantastic! I haven’t found anyone here yet, so I may drop in and see her some time.

      One of my friends uses the Sleep Cycle app–there’s a free version, and she says it has helped her.

      Thanks so much for dropping by and reading! I don’t usually post so much personal stuff, but after reading the book (Why We Sleep), I figured that lots of people in the business world might benefit from a post.

      Thanks again,

      P.S. I don’t know why people are ignoring your tweets about using only one or two hashtags!

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