Lack of Sleep Keeps You From Your Full Potential. Here’s How To Change That.

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Have you ever boasted about pulling an all-nighter? Do you get by on 5 or 6 hours of sleep on workdays? Unfortunately, we live in a culture that does not recognize the importance of self-care. “Hustle” – working longer hours, staying plugged in to work even during off-hours, is mistaken for a path to success. More often, it’s a path to under-performance and burnout.

High Performance Requires Sleep

The first casualties of a lack of sleep are a slower reaction time, with reduced ability to focus and take in new information. While a person functioning on 5-6 hours of sleep may not show the level of impairment that would prevent them from safely driving a car, the difference is measurable in high-performance work such as professional athletics. If you routinely miss a few hours of sleep because of putting in extra work or because you have trouble letting go of the day’s stresses, the cost to your focus and productivity over time is not likely to be made up for by your extra “hustle.” 

Sleep Requires Discipline

It should come as no surprise that highly successful people prioritize getting enough sleep. Getting 8 hours of sleep per night improves focus, creative problem solving, physical health, and mood. Those people who always seem to have it together not only know this, they have made it a priority to switch off at the end of the day and to let their bodies regenerate through sleep. Because they have done so, they wake up energized. Their work is more productive because they aren’t suffering from the malaise, lack of focus, and other health issues that come with lack of sleep.

If you’ve had trouble doing this, you need to develop a calming routine. This routine must begin at least 9 hours before you plan to wake up (allowing 1 hour for calming, 8 hours for sleeping.) At this point, all work activities should be put away. Stimulating entertainment like videos and social media should be switched off. If you are not used to going to bed on time, switching off may be anxiety-provoking as your brain searches for something to focus on. This is where a calming supplement such as the CBD tinctures found here https://cbdfx.com/collections/cbd-tincture/ can help.

It’s Not About Hustle

If you’ve ever laid awake trying unsuccessfully to sleep, you know that sleep is not something you can achieve by trying harder. Becoming irritated at your lack of sleep produces cortisol, a stress hormone that is the opposite of help at bedtime. 

Cannabinoids such as CBD (cannabidiol) and CBN (cannabinol) can help to establish a healthy sleep pattern by shifting several factors that interfere with sleep. Both CBD and CBN are natural, non-psychoactive (though CBN does have a sedative effect,) and legal extracts from the hemp plant. A CBD/CBN tincture can support sleep in several ways. It reduces anxiety, which is often the reason for lying awake or persisting at work or distractions long after they have ceased to be productive. Both CBD and CBN have been shown to support falling asleep faster and staying asleep longer. Both substances also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which support the natural repair process the body undergoes during sleep.

Is Sleep Deficit Real?

Some who routinely sleep only 5 hours or so during the week claim they make up for it on weekends by sleeping longer. Others say there’s no such thing as a sleep deficit because as soon as you get a full 8 hours of sleep your body begins to repair itself. They’re both wrong, and students at Harvard University provided the evidence. Sleeping on an irregular schedule delayed the release of melatonin, which governs when you sleep and when you wake up, by up to three hours. Therefore, students who did not keep a regular sleep schedule were starting class with a significant amount of melatonin still in their system, which affected their performance.

When sleep deficit (getting fewer than 7 hours of sleep per night routinely) becomes a habit, it is easy to convince yourself that the way you feel is normal. You may believe that feeling groggy for hours each morning is just your nature, that lack of focus is just age or stress. Unless you are getting a full night’s sleep each night, you do not know your full potential.