Thou shalt not do that again – if you want to live a long life!
If you live by the philosophy that you’ll sleep when you’re dead, we suggest you consider repenting your sleep sins now. Think we’re being overly dramatic?
Let’s be clear on the role sleep plays in our lives. For starters, it’s fundamental to our physical and mental well-being. Far from being a period of rest, sleep fosters muscle growth, repairs cells and fortifies our immune system. It can help our heart and blood vessels repair themselves while our brains are busy sorting and filing memories and improving our ability to learn the next day. But in times of stress and crisis, it can be a struggle to maintain a consistent sleep/wake routine.
And if you suffer from sleep apnea – or just don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis – long term sleep deprivation has been linked to a smorgasbord of health disasters, including Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease and Cancer.
Are you committing one (or more) of the 7 deadly sins of sleep? It might be time to repent your sleep sins and adopt some new habits.
1. Lust – You’re having an affair with your snooze button
Lust is usually associated with sexual desire, but it can also be symbolic of lack of control. If you bang on your snooze button every morning, it may mean you aren’t getting enough sleep, that you’re still exhausted when it’s time to wake up. Or you may be suffering from insomnia, sleep apnea or depression. Sleep doctors agree, those 10 minutes you were hoping for will make you feel worse if you give into the temptation.
What you can do: Move your alarm clock further from the bed to force you to get up when it goes off.
2. Gluttony – You’re over-indulging in naps
Consuming anything to the point of waste, whether it’s food or sleep – that’s gluttony. Too much sleep can be a sign of depression but it’s also been associated with Alzheimer’s and Type 2 Diabetes as you age.
What you can do: Record how much you sleep and how you feel before and after sleep – and then make an appointment with a sleep specialist to see if there are any underlying reasons why you’re sleeping so much.
3. Greed – You’re drinking too much coffee
Is your OCD (Obsessive Coffee Disorder) getting in the way of a good night’s sleep? A 16-ounce cup of the house blend at Starbucks has an average of 259 milligrams of caffeine compared with only 143 milligrams in the same-sized cup of coffee at Dunkin Donuts. Studies show 30mg or less of caffeine can alter mood and affect behavior and 100mg per day can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms upon abstinence.
What you can do: Downsize your coffee order in the morning, cut the caffeine off by 2 pm and hydrate with water between cups of coffee. If you need a mid-afternoon adrenaline jolt, brew a cup of green tea.
4. Sloth – You drink too much (alcohol) before bedtime
Often known as the sin of omission, sloth is perhaps the least serious of all the cardinal sins. But if you’re drinking too much alcohol before bed that sloth-like feeling you crave can be the death knell for your sleep later. That nightcap might help you fall asleep faster but it’s going to wake up during the night – often.
What you can do: Sub your regular nightcap for a non-alcoholic version with tart cherry juice or coconut water. Or try one of these sleep smoothie recipes.
5. Wrath – You rule the world with your smartphone beside your bed
We get that you love your smartphone. We love ours too. According to the National Sleep Foundation more than 85% of adults have at least one screen in front of them before bedtime, which can wake the brain up instead of preparing it for sleep.
What you can do: Set up a family charging station in a common room and buy a real alarm clock to wake you up. If you need your phone with you at night, put it on sleep mode and turn it facedown while you’re sleeping.
6. Envy – You envy nappers so much that you must have one every day
Naps can be a glorious way to find the energy you need to power through a stressful, busy day. But napping too often, late in the day or for too long is the same as putting a curse on your nighttime sleep.
What you can do: Try a coffee nap – a cold cup of coffee before a nap. It takes approximately 20 minutes for caffeine to travel from your stomach to your blood stream – the perfect nap length. A cup of coffee before you lie down gives your mind time rest before the caffeine begins blazing its trail. Great way to beat the after-nap groggies, right?
7. Pride – You brag about how little sleep you need
Pride is a slippery slope and it’s normal to want to celebrate what you’re good at. But being able to cope on little sleep is just plain stupid. If you’re trying to win the worst sleeper award, you can have it. Seriously.
What you can do: Repent and go to bed early tonight. What’s that? You hate your mattress? We can help you out there. Visit our Find a Retailer page and we’ll locate a store close by where you can lie on our mattresses and talk to a trained sales professional.
Rest well & wake up ready to go!
Better sleep gives rise to better mornings, bringing your goals into focus and dreams within reach. Hungry for more sleep info? Dig into these posts:
- Does eating before bed cause nightmares?
- What your sleep position says about your personality
- 8 proven mind tricks to soothe anxiety and sleep better