Work hard, play harder, sleep infrequently: Your health vs your lifestyle

For a huge number of people, their life ethos can be summed up in one pithy phrase: “word hard, play harder”.

For the most part, taking this approach to life is considered to be a positive. Do the work you need to do to fund a lifestyle that’s as much fun as it can possibly be. A life filled with interesting work, time out with friends, and indulgence in your favorite hobbies sounds like a life that is being well-lived.

If you subscribe to the “work hard, play harder” ethos, then you’ll likely feel that your choice is a positive one— and, let’s be clear, it predominantly is. However, there’s one issue that has to be addressed: how much sleep are you getting?

When life is too full for sleep

If you have a schedule packed with work and social commitments, you’re likely well-accustomed to the occasional late night. After all, you’re not going to fit in all the things you want to do and get your eight-hours-per-night; there just aren’t enough hours in the week. So, like most people, you make the decision for sleep to take less of a priority.

The above decision might seem like a positive one; one that lets you live up to the ethos that you have found for yourself. However, there’s a potential pitfall: your health.

The health impact of lost sleep

We all know the immediate, short-term consequences of not getting enough sleep: bags under the eyes, many cups of coffee being required to kickstart our brains, and more yawns than you care to count. These are bad enough in and of themselves, but when sleep deprivation becomes chronic, your health is going to pay the price.

The impact of sleep deprivation on health is catastrophic, and the problems only become more concerning the longer sleep deprivation lasts. The occasional all-nighter might be recoverable from, but if you’re consistently not catching your Zs, then your body will begin to feel it. Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to heart problems, brain problems, and, as outlined by, even causes even weight gain. As a result, playing harder may occasionally need to sit on the backburner.

One good night per week

No one is trying to tell you to dedicate yourself to ensuring you get a full night of sleep every night— for most people, that’s an unrealistic goal. However, do try and ensure that at least once per week, you get at least eight hours of sleep in a night. Make it easy on yourself to do so: plan to use essential oils to help you “switch off”, head to to find a mattress so sumptuous you’ll actively want to go to bed, and treat yourself to the most comfortable bed linen you can find. Then, when your allotted night arrives, go to bed a few hours earlier than you usually would.

One night isn’t enough…

… but it’s a start. One night of full sleep is still better than no nights of full sleep and, in time, you may be more willing to accommodate your need for sleep into your schedule. Life should be enjoyed, but adequate sleep is a big part of that enjoyment, and a few early nights will do you the world of good.

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