You’ve heard it before: sleep is essential. It’s essential to our health, our function, our mental wellbeing, our happiness… the limitless list of things that get better when we sleep more, and worse when we don’t.
Sleep is a requirement for our brain. According to Why We Sleep, sleep enriches our ability to learn, memorise and make logical decisions. It recalibrates our emotions. It regulates our appetite and fine-tunes our metabolism. It creates space for our brain to process past and present knowledge, inspiring creativity and reconnecting us with our deeper self.
And while it may seem obvious, it’s so easy to overlook the importance of sleep, especially when we have one million things to do each day.
We think: surely we can sacrifice an extra hour of sleep for an early morning workout, an hour of laid-back downtime before bed, a productive jump start on our daily to-do list.
But that extra hour you sacrifice (and let’s be honest: sometimes it’s many more than one) is often so detrimental to your productivity and mental wellbeing that it completely outweighs the benefits of whatever you gave up your sleep for.
Sure, you could give yourself an extra hour to tackle your work day… but if you’re running on five hours of sleep, you’ll be unfocused and slow, and much less sharp and switched-on than you would be if you rested. You could wake up early for that heart-pumping morning workout, and that would be amazing — but if you’re not getting enough sleep to rest and recover properly, you’re doing your body a disservice. And that laid-back downtime before bed… it’s oh so comforting and addictive, but the endless social scroll can pull us in for hours longer than we hoped, sacrificing our sleep for the sake of our screens.
We know it’s not easy to prioritise sleep over everything else in life — the thrilling, the stressful, the fun and the restful — but when you create a lifestyle that supports better sleep habits, you can use your well-rested mind and body to power you through everything else.
Just like with most goals, it helps to start small. Below are some tips you can work into your daily routine, slowly but surely, until you’ve prioritised rest a little bit more… and more and more, until you’re continuously reaping the benefits of an eight-hour-or-more snooze.
💤 Utilise the night shift function on your phone and screens. It’s tricky to go cold turkey on the late night TikTok scroll, so start by reducing blue light before bed.
💤 Create a consistent routine. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, including weekends. Inch your timeline forward ten minutes a day if you’re trying to create more space for rest.
💤 Move your body through the day. A physically active body is a tired one, and burning off energy can help you fall asleep more easily at night.
💤 Lean on bedtime rituals. Whether it’s a lavender candle, an evening meditation or a calming skincare routine, build a ritual that signals to your body it’s time to slow down and slip into blissful sleep.