The Number One Secret to Your Success? Yep, you read that right and now you’re here to read exactly how improving this one area of your life will allow you to achieve so many of your goals and dreams. I know you are hoping for that magic bullet, we all are, and I think you will find that this information is about as close as you can get. So what’s “The Secret?”
There was a time when I lived with the motto of, “sleep when you’re dead.” Then I had an awakening (pun intended). A couple of years ago I had a hip replacement which was a result of numerous athletic injuries.
Oh my! What an epiphany I had. My body had forgotten what it felt like waking up after a pain free night of 8 hours of solid sleep. I was now a convert and started researching the role sleep plays in peak performers. I found that so many of the people we admire, past and present, get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Many habitually take naps during the day.
Comedian Carrie Snow once said, “No day is so bad it can’t be fixed with a nap.”
We all know that we should be getting seven or eight hours of shut-eye each night, and yet many of us fail to make sleep a priority. Some even wear their lack of sleep requirements as a badge of honor. If you’ve clocked too little sleep, naps can be a lifesaver.
Napping has many benefits. Science has shown that a short snooze can help you be more alert, see an increase in creativity and productivity, as well as reduce stress, improve your memory and enhance your learning ability as well.
“Sleep makes us more productive, creative, less stressed and much healthier and happier,” HuffPost President and Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington said on NBC’s “Today” last year. “Even a 20-minute nap in the middle of the day can make a huge difference. I grew up thinking that if you work around the clock, you are going to be more effective, and I realize that is not true.”
Many celebrated historical figures and modern-day successful stories rely on the art of napping to restore their minds and bodies when they’re feeling fatigued.
Here are some highly successful people who are known to rely on naps to power through long days.
- Thomas Edison. When he wasn’t thinking and inventing items like the light bulb and phonograph, Edison was big on naps and used to say he got much of his energy from them.
- Leonardo DaVinci.
- Connie Mack.
- Winston Churchill.
- John F. Kennedy
- Napoleon Bonaparte.
- Eleanor Roosevelt.
- Ronald Reagan.
Sleep plays an extremely vital role in our overall well-being. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times helps protect your mental health, physical health, and overall quality of life.
During sleep, your body is repairing itself and preparing you for the next day.
Sleep deficiency can raise your risk of chronic health challenges and it can affect how well you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others.
Healthy Brain Function and Emotional Well-Being
While you’re sleeping, your brain is forming new pathways to help you learn and remember information.
Studies show that a good night’s sleep improves learning. Whether you’re learning math, how to play the guitar, or how to swing a tennis racket, sleep helps you focus, make decisions, and be creative.
If you’re sleep deficient, you may have trouble making decisions, solving problems, controlling your emotions and behavior, and coping with change. Sleep deficiency also has been linked to depression, suicide, and risk-taking behavior.
Children and teens who are sleep deficient may have problems getting along with others. They may feel angry and impulsive, have mood swings, feel sad or depressed, or lack motivation. They also may have problems paying attention, and they may get lower grades and feel stressed.
Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. Consistent sleep deficiency is linked to increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and obesity.
Sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin). When you don’t get enough sleep, your level of ghrelin goes up and your level of leptin goes down. This makes you feel hungrier than when you’re well-rested.
Sleep also affects how your body reacts to insulin, the hormone that controls your blood glucose (sugar) level. Sleep deficiency results in a higher than normal blood sugar level, which may increase your risk for diabetes.
Deep sleep triggers the body to release the hormone that promotes normal growth in children and teens. This hormone also boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells and tissues in children, teens, and adults. Sleep also plays a role in puberty and fertility.
Your immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy. Ongoing sleep deficiency can change the way in which your immune system responds. For example, if you’re sleep deficient, you may have trouble fighting common infections.
Daytime Performance and Safety
Getting enough quality sleep at the right times helps you function well throughout the day. People who are sleep deficient are less productive at work and school. They take longer to finish tasks, have a slower reaction time, and make more mistakes.
Lack of sleep can lead to microsleep. Microsleep refers to brief moments of sleep that occur when you’re normally awake.
You can’t control microsleep, and you might not be aware of it. For example, have you ever driven somewhere and then not remembered part of the trip? If so, you may have experienced microsleep.
Even if you’re not driving, microsleep can affect how you function. If you’re listening to a lecture, for example, you might miss some of the information or feel like you don’t understand the point. In reality, though, you may have slept through part of the lecture and not been aware of it.
Sudies show that sleep deficiency harms your driving ability as much as, or more than, being drunk. It’s estimated that driver sleepiness is a factor in about 100,000 car accidents each year, resulting in about 1,500 deaths.
Drivers aren’t the only ones affected by sleep deficiency. It can affect people in all lines of work, including health care workers, pilots, students, lawyers, mechanics, and assembly line workers.
As a result, sleep deficiency is not only harmful on a personal level, but it also can cause large-scale damage. For example, sleep deficiency has played a role in human errors linked to tragic accidents, such as nuclear reactor meltdowns, grounding of large ships, and aviation accidents.
Don’t let your life become a meltdown. Get plenty of sleep, live with passion and let your body repair itself so you can be the best version of yourself possible. Live your life intentionally, SLEEP!