Sleep for Success: Shaping it Up for the Big Time, Baby! 


Many great and amazing things happened in 1989. “Shining Time Station” with Thomas the Tank Engine came to American TV, Disney MGM Studios opened at Walt Disney World, and Roxette released one of their greatest hits “Dressed for Success.” 


If you’re too young to remember Roxette, don’t tell us, just look them up on YouTube. They’re amazing! 


The song “Dressed for Success” is all about looking your best in order to move yourself forward either professionally or personally. In reality, looking and feeling your best and, ultimately, real personal and professional success, starts with a good night’s sleep. 


According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, “Quality sleep – and getting enough of it at the right times—is as essential to survival as food and water. Without sleep, you can’t form or maintain the pathways in your brain that let you learn and create new memories, and it’s harder to concentrate and respond quickly” .. Why, then, do we push ourselves to stay awake to work or socialize late into the night? Why do we view sleep as “lost time” instead of the important necessity that it is? 


Put simply, pressure is what is keeping us awake at night. This could be professional pressure, stress, anxiety, depression, or even social pressures in the form of friends or family. 


College students are notoriously sleep deprived due to social activities and the combined pressures of work and school. The average night’s sleep for a college student is between 6-6.9 hours or less each night.. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s Dr. Lawrence Epstein, “after two weeks of sleeping six hours or less a night, students feel as bad and perform as poorly as someone who has gone without sleep for 48 hours.” That’s pretty bad! 


Now, fast forward to this same college student as a middle-aged professional. As we age, we notice that we start to forget things, we slow down, and tend to get tired more quickly doing things that we used to do quite easily. That’s life, right? Well, yes…and potentially no. Sleep scientists are currently looking into whether a better night’s rest will help adults’ overall cognition and energy improve. The truth is that, as we age, we get less sleep in general and less of the deep sleep that we need for our body to restore itself. We have to get up in the night more often, so our sleep is broken. Overall, we tend to revert back to the 6 hours of sleep we may have gotten in college, and we’ve already discussed how bad that can be for our performance levels! 


In order for people to sleep for success, no matter their age, they need to ensure that they get enough sleep for them. The Mayo Clinic suggests the following amounts of sleep based on your age: 


Age Group

      Recommended Amount of Sleep

Newborns

      14-17 hours a day

12 months

      About 10 hours at night, plus 4 hours of naps

2 years

      About 11-12 hours at night, plus a 1-2 hour afternoon nap

3-5 years

      10-13 hours

6-13 years

      9-11 hours

14-17 years

      8-10 hours

Adults

      7-9 hours



In our last blog post, we discussed ideas and suggestions for maintaining good sleep hygiene. Putting these suggestions and other bedtime routines into practice every day will help you get the amount of sleep you need to be at your best! 


If you’re a side sleeper, don’t forget your Pillow Cube for the best night’s sleep you’ve ever had and a truly successful day in the morning! 


Be good to yourselves!