Women are staying up late to reclaim their personal time. But what is the true cost of putting off sleep? You might gain an hour or two of me-time — a precious commodity in today's busy world — but what women lose when they miss sleep is far more valuable.
The true cost of staying up late
Sleep deprivation affects more than your coffee consumption. Here's what you're really giving up when you stay up late.
It's harder to meet fitness goals when you're not sleeping well. That's because sleep deprivation spikes your appetite, makes it harder to control food, and triggers the body to store belly fat.
Sleep deprivation also makes you more likely to get injured and slows recovery. In fact, one recent study found sleep to be the biggest factor affecting injury prevention and recovery.
One of the most under appreciated effects of poor sleep is its impact on mental health. Poor sleep is associated with emotional instability, anxiety, depression, forgetfulness, and difficulty concentrating, among other mental health effects.
On the flip side, when you do sleep well, your body has time to rest, repair, and grow. During sleep, the body also boosts its immunity, regulates stress and hormones, and processes new information.
Proven strategies for better sleep
Sleeping well requires more than going to bed on time. Here's how you can maximize sleep quality as well as quantity.
A good night's sleep starts with a restful environment. Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool (around 15–19 degrees Celsius is best). If quiet is hard to come by in your home, try a white noise machine or sleepcasts to drown out distractions.
What you wear to bed matters, too. Pajamas may be cute, but between tight elastics, scratchy fabrics, and overheating, they're not the best choice for bed. If sleeping nude isn't your style, opt for full-coverage underwear that won't slip or dig and a lightweight, non-underwire bra. Preferably no bra at all!
You'll fall asleep more easily if you maintain a consistent sleep schedule. Exercising, getting more natural light, and watching your caffeine intake are key to going to bed earlier.
Getting more me-time (without losing sleep)
Now you're sleeping better, but what about the time you lost? You don't have to stay up late to squeeze in self-care. These strategies will help you get more me-time in daily life.
A healthy body provides the foundation for a healthy mind. Exercise regulates stress and emotional health in addition to its more obvious physical benefits. Maximize the mental health benefits of exercise by integrating a variety of activities and avoiding over-exertion.
Self-care doesn't have to be time-consuming. Breathing exercises, aromatherapy, skincare, stretching, and even just pausing for a cup of tea present an opportunity to unwind during the day.
You can still unwind while getting to bed on time. Instead of scrolling Instagram, create a bedtime routine that's truly relaxing. Listening to music, journaling, stretching, or taking a warm shower are self-care strategies that set you up for success.
There's no single solution to a healthy body and mind. Fitness, nutrition, sleep — they're all important when it comes to self-care. Instead of procrastinating sleep to squeeze more time into your day, make sleep a priority so you spend every waking moment at 100%. And if you’re looking for more ways to live your best life, book a lifestyle coaching session with The Sweatbox today.
written by Cheryl Cronklin.