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How did you sleep last night? More importantly, how long did you sleep? Not getting enough sleep is one of the top causes for feeling stressed. Think of sleep as the ultimate form of relaxation. It’s something we need. If you don’t believe me, try to stay awake for more than 3 days in a row. The hallucinations will set in rather quickly and you’ll start to feel the effects of sleep deprivation long before that. If you’ve ever pulled an all-nighter, you know this. By the following afternoon, you aren’t nearly as sharp as you are after a good night sleep. In fact, you may well be toast.

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

The average woman needs 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep per night. Yet most of us don’t even come close to that. We stay up late watching TV, browsing the web, or catching up on emails. Then we get up early to get a jump on the day and have a fighting chance at tackling our to-do list while finding time to work out and spend quality time with our loved ones. Something’s got to give with that kind of schedule and more often than not it’s our body and mind.

Importance of Sleep

Without adequate sleep, we don’t get the chance to de-stress and process everything that’s happened the previous day. Sure, we can pull it off for a time, but eventually our health and our productivity suffers. While there are seasons in life when we have to make due with little sleep like the weeks and months after having a baby, it shouldn’t be a long-term strategy. If we make it that, we risk having some negative long-term health consequences including heart attack, stroke, weight loss resistance, diabetes, mental fog and depression (there are many more too!)

That’s right, stress kills and lack of sleep is its accomplice. It’s time to take a stand and make sleep a priority. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much more you’ll get done during your waking hours and how unstressed you’ll feel as a result.

Aim For Eight Hours of Sleep Per Night

Aim to get a good eight hours of sleep per night. I find it easiest to work backwards. Determine what time you really need to get up in the morning to make it to work on time. If exercise in the morning is important to you, and something you benefit from, account for that as well. The same goes for spiritual and meditative habits. Once you have your ideal wakeup time, work backwards eight to nine hours to find your new bed time. Get in the habit of going to bed at that hour and make it part of your routine. Once you see how much you benefit from a full-night’s sleep, you’ll be hooked and both your body and mind will thank you for it.

Don’t Miss A Thing

In case you missed one of the emails and posts, here are the tips I’ve shared so far:

Day 1 Welcome And How Relaxing More Can Help Reduce Stress
Day 2 The Dangers of Stress
Day 3 The Importance Of Rest And Relaxation
Day 4 Quick Stress Buster: Take a Nap
Day 5 How To Know That You’re Too Stressed
Day 6 Quick Stress Buster – Take A Breath
Day 7 Not a Paradox – Relax and Get More Done
Day 8 Quick Stress Buster – Go For A Walk
Day 9 Are you putting yourself first?
Day 10 – Have You Tried Meditation?
Day 11 – Work Hard & Play Hard
Day 12 – Stress Buster: Plant Something
Day 13 – The Value Of Doing Nothing At All
Day 14 – Quick Stress Buster: Start Journaling
Day 15 – Your Stuff May Be Stressing You Out
Day 16 – Quick Stress Buster: Lose Yourself In A Book Or Movie