To Sleep Or Not To Sleep Early

Sleeping early. These 2 words somehow elude many students, employees and professionals alike. Sleep deprivation has worsened to the point that some of us might be asking ourselves, “What is sleep?” I’ll do you one better – “Why is sleep?” Seriously, many of us now find the concept of sleeping early foreign. We actively forgo it for work, study and commitments, even though we knew all this while the consequences of doing so. Forgoing sleep has adverse impacts on our health in the long term and would reduce our ability to concentrate in the short term. Without the ability to function at peak performance, we are less able to learn and chase after success. Thus, I can safely say, to sleep or not to sleep early is to sleep early. In this article, we will be detailing why this is the case. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter!

#1: Sleeping Early Keeps Your Mind Healthy

As you slumber, your body parts are working hard to regenerate themselves. New cells are regenerated and dead cells are removed, while your brain and other organs work hard to detox themselves. All in all, your body slowly recharges itself and prepares for a new day. This is especially important for the brain. During sleep, neurones decrease in size by up to 60%, increasing the space between them for waste and toxic materials to be washed away easily. In fact, the brain removes significant amounts of a toxic protein known as amyloid-beta, which is involved in Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, science has shown that sleep and learning are closely linked. Here, new memories are processed and consolidated in the brain, as neurones in the hippocampus repeat the activation patterns that took place while the individual was conscious. This helps to transfer short-term memories held in the hippocampus to other parts of the brain, so as to facilitate the formation of long-term memories. Thus, missing out on sleep could cause one’s learning ability to decline by as much as 40%. That is something that you clearly want to avoid!

#2: Detoxification Of Body Parts

The brain is not the only that needs to clean itself. Sleep affects almost all tissues and organs in the body, from your heart to your skin. As mentioned above, your brain has something called a Glymphatic system which involves the shrinking of neurones so as to create room for toxins to be flushed out. Meanwhile, the body also secretes hormones, which decreases one’s breathing rate and promotes muscle relaxation. On the other hand, sleep deprivation increases inflammation levels, which restricts the body from effectively cleansing itself. The removal of toxic materials allows the unrestricted movement of essential substances and oxygen, which ultimately aids in the regenerative processes of the body. Missing out on sleep impedes the aforementioned processes, which may even cause the stunting of growth in children.

#3: Sleep Improves Immunity

Since sleep affects nearly every part of the body, it is no surprise that it also has a tremendous impact on our immune systems. Consistent sleep increases one’s immunity, while a lack of sleep increases the risks of diseases. When T cells detect an infected cell, they activate integrins, which allow them to adhere to and destroy the latter cells. The T cells of consistent sleepers have been shown to have higher levels of integrin activation than those of sleep-deprived individuals. Moreover, stress hormones may even restrict the functions of T cells in poor sleepers. High concentrations of these hormones may in turn decrease the ability of T cells to kill pathogens, thus weakening the body’s immune system. Another example is the fact that the body releases cytokines, in the presence of infection and inflammation, which help to fight diseases. Without adequate sleep, the body will not be able to produce as much of these cytokines and antibodies. During periods of sickness, the body utilises more energy so as to battle infections and eradicate diseases. This means that the body will have less energy on hand for other processes. During these times, sleep is of paramount importance as it helps to conserve energy and resources.

Conclusion

After reading this article, were you surprised by how important sleep is? Why or why not? Will you be sleeping earlier now? Jot down your comments in the comment section below! Thanks for reading! Do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter if you haven’t done so! Stay tuned for more.

Solving Boredom

Ironically, let’s start off with the boring meaning of “bored”. According to Google, it is “feeling weary and impatient because one is unoccupied or lacks interest in one’s current activity.” There you have it. Boredom comes from a lack of interest or enjoyment. It certainly feels dreadful when we’re doing something we don’t like or when we have nothing fun to do. Sometimes, boredom can even give birth to a form of laziness. By far, boredom is the worst enemy of productivity. So how do we address this void? In this article, we will discuss how we can solve boredom and bring purpose to whatever we do. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter!

#1: Take A Break

Most often, we find ourselves focused on something for long periods of time because we tell ourselves we must complete a certain objective as soon as possible. The problem is that the mind will get bored of something pretty quickly when it is not given a break. When you were a kid, did you find yourself munching on chocolates only to find yourself absolutely tired of it after a couple of chocolate bars? It’s the same logic. The brain craves variety and excitement. For that reason, it is extremely beneficial to take breaks from time to time. If you have already read for an hour, reward yourself with a television show. Yes, you could read on for hours to come, but doing so would be counterproductive as your mind would get tired and gradually lose interest in the subject matter at hand. However, if breaks are not an option, you can also choose to alternate between tasks. For example, you may want to read for 1 hour, then do household chores for 30 minutes, before going back to reading again.

#2: Find Something You Enjoy

This step requires some reflection on your part. There is no definitive answer to this. Say, perhaps you like jogging in the park. You could choose to go jogging whenever you feel bored. The key is to find something that would lighten your heart and mind and allow you to relax. Just remember not to go overboard with this. Often, many spend too much time “relaxing” and less time on necessary tasks. For this reason, I recommend that you create a timetable to organise your day to day schedules. However, it is even better if you can integrate it with your work. In other words, this means that you can do that thing you enjoy at the same time as you work. For instance, you could listen to music while you complete your homework or sip some coffee while cleaning up your email.

#3: Make Boring Stuff Fun!

Sometimes, all it takes is some little tweaks to the way we do or view something. To make something more interesting and engaging, you could either choose to “gamify” the activity or make it visually appealing. These are just some suggestions – there are no rules to dictate how you should go about doing this! Since the brain gets bored of something relatively quickly, you can change the way in which something is presented every session. For instance, you could create mind-maps for your school notes today and utilise flashcards tomorrow! This mix and match creates something new for your mind every session, thus removing the element of predictability and monotony. Likewise, if you find running boring, you can motivate yourself by buying a smart watch (don’t splurge on this) which tracks your calorie burn count and distance travelled. In fact, some apps award you points for running a certain distance or burning a certain amount of calories. Meanwhile, if you would like to know how you can create habits effectively, check out my article here: https://bestofwrite.com/2020/11/30/how-to-build-a-habit-effectively/

Conclusion

Boredom is something that we experience quite regularly, and I hope that this article will be useful in your quest to eradicate it. If you have not followed me yet, do consider doing so now and subscribe to my newsletter too! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more articles!

Further Reading

Do You Practice An Attitude of Gratitude?

Having an attitude of gratitude sounds easier than it really is. Being thankful requires you to place your grudges, resentments and biases aside. Often, we become blinded by the so-called “negatives” of the people around us and our environment, and thus fail to notice all the goodness within them. Indeed, gratitude requires a change in perspective. Focusing solely on the negative events of your life will only bring you constant unhappiness. On the other hand, being grateful, even when the current situation may look bleak, can bring us an unparalleled feeling of contentment and joy. So, do you practice an attitude of gratitude? If so, why? Leave your comments down below! In this article, we will discuss why you should cultivate an attitude of gratitude and how you should go about doing so. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter!

#1: Gratitude Grants Peace

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A glass is filled with water to half its maximum capacity. Is it half empty or half full? Different individuals would describe this differently, and their answers are but a reflection of their inner selves. Of course, there is nothing wrong with each answer. However, they do reveal much about our perspectives of the world – to focus on what is missing, or what is present? Gratitude calls us to focus on what is already in our grasp, and to cherish it. Exercising this gratitude helps us to count our blessings, and be thankful for all the good that we have had in our lives, be it our loved ones, our possessions or skills. On the other hand, if we focus strictly on what we are lacking in, we will never be fulfilled. Traces of this pessimistic attitude can be found in many forms of human behaviour and emotion, such as jealousy and feelings of low-self esteem. In other words, the human mind is most likely to lose itself in the void, thus giving birth to endless cycles of greed and desire.

#2: Gratitude Improves Relationships

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No relationship is one-sided. Each party involved has to appreciate the other, and vice versa. But how many of us do bother to reciprocate the love that the other party gives? Do we take it for granted? If you find yourself in this category, it’s time for you to show a little gratitude! Gratitude can be expressed in simple ways – it doesn’t require a full-scale party. It could be as simple as “I’m thankful for your company all these years”. While these may look insignificant, they help to season the relationship and keep the bond strong. However, there are many who do not understand this and inadvertently end up destroying their relationships, as a lack of gratitude results in the other party feeling disposable, expendable and unappreciated.

#3: Gratitude Helps You Stay Afloat In Life’s Challenges

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How often in life have we felt crushed by failure, not because of the failure itself but because we could have done better? Again, we are focusing on what we lack, and not what we have at the moment. Instead of focusing on the failure, it helps to be grateful of the fact that you have tried and done your best. Likewise, we should also be thankful for the opportunity to fail. “Say what now?” Yes, you read that right. Failure is a chance to learn and to improve. It’s these lessons that make us who we are and who we will be in the future. View it as a curse, and you’ll never learn. View it as a blessing in disguise and you will be handsomely rewarded. It is the wise who, even in humiliating moments of defeat, are thankful that they have a chance to try again and do better. This essential lesson is especially important in the path to mastery, where mistakes are inevitable. Learn more about how you can attain success for yourself here: https://bestofwrite.com/2021/04/25/keys-to-attaining-success/

Conclusion

It has been a long time since I have posted. (At least it feels that way for me) I hope that you did enjoy this post. Thanks for reading! Do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter if you haven’t done so!