Hormonally speaking, you are doing yourself more harm by stressing about getting eight hours of sleep then you actually are benefiting from getting that eight hours of sleep. Just like business, sleep is dynamic. Things are constantly changing that alter your body’s needs for sleep, and to say that you need a structured eight hours of sleep per night is like a business saying that it needs the same budget every quarter regardless of earnings. It simply changes all the time, and it’s not always inverse of how much activity you performed that day. Here’s how not to stress about getting to sleep.
I’m all about promoting more quality sleep versus the quantity of sleep. In fact, the Journal of Psychosomatic Research agrees as well by finding in a study that optimized shorter bouts of sleep were better for rejuvenation and healing than that of longer periods of lower-quality sleep.
Now, my take on all of this is simple. As business people, our minds are constantly going 120 mph. We tend to get stressed about things that we can control and are pretty good at tuning out the noise when its something that we cannot control. So, with that said, we find ourselves stressing out about when we go to bed, because it is something that is in our control and quite honestly, just one of those nuances that we have to deal with (I know that I generally am not too excited to go to bed).
This means that we are increasing our cortisol levels and that in and of itself is not always a good thing. In fact, our bodies release cortisol in the morning to help us wake up (and to increase blood pressure so that we don’t get lightheaded). I know people who begin stressing out at 6 pm about what time they are going to get to bed, or for instance they know that they have a night out so they start stressing about the fact that they’re going to run on less sleep. STOP IT!
Stop Stressing Over Getting to Sleep
You’re better off not stressing about the amount of sleep you get and just go to bed when you’re tired. Forcing yourself to sleep is utterly pointless. You’re telling yourself to go into a state of sleep that is going to do very little for you. Do the math, would you rather lie in bed for 7 hours, but optimally sleep for 15 minutes of every hour, or would you rather sleep for four hours and sleep for 55 minutes of every hour? Which seems more productive?
But in the meantime, stop stressing about the sleep that you’re not getting, and focus on a lifestyle design that is going to allow you to be the best version of yourself, making the best kind of decisions while you’re awake, leave the sleeping for, well… sleeping.