Healthy sleep patterns are part of a good health regimen. So often when we are feeling off, we change our diet, increase our activity, and try to reduce our stress levels. All of these behaviors are important, but, when is the last time we clocked our sleep?
Our exhaustion, or mental recall, laziness and bad mood may all be side effects of poor sleep habits in fact we may be living our life at a deficit because of them.
The average adult NEEDS 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Subtract from that regularly and before you know it you have built up SLEEP DEBT… this debt is to be taken seriously and you need to pay off quickly.
Truth be told…Parents have been known to be able to survive on little sleep. Especially parents of newborns. Newborn parents have been known to on average lose two hours of sleep per night. This goes on until the baby is 5 months old. From 6 months till about 2 years old, parental sleep loss lessens to approximately a 1hour loss. We are pretty sure those sleep loss numbers spike up to newborn parent levels (if not more) once teen years set in.
Listen, just because walking around with Sleep Debt is common doesn’t mean it’s OK. More rest is best. Facts are facts, and the fact is the average adult needs at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep in order to be running at full faculty.
You cannot pay down Sleep Debt in one lump sum. If you are missing an average of 1 hour per night for 5 days, sleeping an extra 5hours on the 6th day will do you more harm than good. This will completely knock you off your sleep cycle and could have effects long term.
Try adjusting your sleep schedule to increase 30 minutes at a time. Going to bed 15 minutes earlier and waking up 15 minutes later is a completely doable incremental addition to most anyone’s schedule. There are also many benefits to taking a daytime nap if it’s possible for you to make napping regularly a part of your routine. Slow and steady wins the race in this battle. So be patient, take your time, and you will be out of debt and feeling good again.