My son’s naptime reminds me of a scene from Honey I Blew Up the Kid.
Instead of a giant toddler ransacking Las Vegas, the only thing giant-sized in this house is my kid’s tantrums around noon.
I’m pretty sure the whole neighborhood recognizes the signs. Whining morphs into crying and eventually turns into full-blown screaming.
In these moments of desperation, we play a game called “horsey wants to run.” It calms him down.
Yesterday, I scooped him up on my back and galloped toward the bed. Between giggles he said, “I don’t want a nap.”
“But you need a nap,” I said in my horsey voice, neighing and then trotting up the stairs.
“But I don’t want a nap.”
Can I just come right out and say it? If you’re cranky or anxious today, you probably need a nap too.
Adults need proper rest but often refuse to sleep, not realizing how it affects us. We lumber on like cranky toddlers, wide-eyed at the next Netflix episode or strung out over late-night comedy.
If you fall into this category, here’s three reasons you need more sleep.
- Creativity flows from rest.
Americans suffer chronic sleep deprivation, averaging less than 7 hours a night. That’s bad news if you make a living as a creative thinker. Loads of studies link proper rest to creativity.
Turning in early at night allows me to rise before the sun. That way I can get things done.
Often we’re duped into thinking sleeping less leads to more productivity, but that’s not the case. Going to bed early can increase work performance.
- Tired Brains Can’t Focus
Creativity isn’t the only thing that hinges on quantity and quality of sleep. Our attention spans and memory improve with eight hours of Zzzz’s.
Sleepy people often show signs of ADD or ADHD. If you’re having trouble concentrating, go take a nap. This article can wait.
Almost everything can wait.
Think of it this way. So much of your quality of life depends on your concentration and memory. Is finishing that book or late-night TV really worth it?
3. Sleepiness makes you feel like you’re drunk.
Recently, I stayed up way too late, relishing every moment I could spend with a group of witty, like-minded people.
I made a mistake.
It was late, and as the night waxed into morning, my body cried out for sleep, but I ignored it. Maybe you’re ignoring some of the symptoms, too.
- Incessant yawning
- Speed blinking to keep your eyes open
After a few nights of this routine, one thought plagued me—I feel drunk. Though no wine or spirits flowed, I found myself babbling and laughing incessantly.
Turns out, I’m not alone. Studies show, missing sleep can make us feel and act inebriated. I call it “sleepy drunk.”
That week I babbled on into the wee hours, but struggled to keep my mind for wandering during the day. My emotions, too, were a wreck.
While we’ll all have late nights sometimes, make sure they’re the exception to the rule.
Sleep does our minds and bodies good.
That little morsel of wisdom is worth drinking to—as long we’re drinking coffee (and decaf after 1 p.m.).
I would love to hear from you! How does sleep affect the quality of your life?