Stressing about sleep

Before a stressful work event, we tend to worry about what will happen if we don’t sleep well:

  • We worry that we’ll be physically tired.
  • We worry that we won’t be mentally sharp.
  • We worry about being in a bad mood.
  • We worry that our performance will suffer.

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Health

Sleep mistakes

... we make when it comes to sleeping well before a big day:

  • We try too hard to sleep and we end up making it harder to fall asleep.
  • We overestimate the negative consequences of poor sleep.
Sleep restriction

It's a technique for improving the quality of your sleep by using the power of Sleep Drive (the body’s natural need for sleep). Sleep Drive is built during the day: the longer you’re awake the stronger your need for sleep. 

Sleep Restriction temporarily restricts the quantity of your sleep so that you’re awake longer and therefore build up more Sleep Drive.

Exercise the days before

If you want more chances of sleeping well the night before a big event, be as physically active as possible the days before.

Shut off your mind

We usually have difficulties with falling asleep at night because we get into bed when our minds are still in work mode trying to solve problems.

The mind needs time to transition out of problem-solving work mode and into a state of relaxation before it can fall asleep. So read a book, watch a relaxing show or listen to your favorite music.

Schedule time to worry

Make sure to set a time and a structure for worrying and you'll reduce the mind’s need to use worry.

And if you're worrying less—especially at night—you’re much more likely to fall asleep easily and sleep well.

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Metabolical Health

When we sleep 5.5 hours per night instead of 8.5 hours per night (recommended is 8 hours), we tend to burn more energy using carbs and protein, instead of fat. This can result in fat gain and muscle loss. Also, insufficient sleep or abnormal sleep cycles can increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

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IDEAS

Ways to get back to sleep
  • Try not to stress over your inability to fall asleep again.
  • Make relaxation your goal, not sleep.
  • If you’ve been awake for more than 15 minutes, get out of bed and do a quiet, non-stimulating activity.
  • Postpone worrying and brainstorming.
  • Various studies point out that sleep influences two appetite hormones, leptin (to decrease appetite) and ghrelin (to stimulate appetite), which is also known as the hunger hormone.
  • Lack of sleep is associated with higher levels of ghrelin and lower levels of leptin, making the person more likely to overeat.

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