Thinking you'll stay up tonight and get on top of that work? It'll be okay, you say, because you'll make up for it soon, maybe next week or at the weekend, or when you go on holiday in a few months’ time.
But it isn't a one-off, is it? You've been staying up late for work for weeks, months or even years now.
The quantity and quality of your sleep directly influences how you show up each day.
Getting extra sleep in the future doesn't make up for the sleep you're losing now. It's not like a loan where you can dip into 'sleep debt' and make up for it further down the track.
For your mind and body to function well you need sleep now.
And it's not just the quantity of sleep either, it's the quality of sleep you're getting. So even if you're in bed for 8 hours but you're tossing and turning, your body won't have time to do what it needs to do to rebuild, restore and repair itself.
Staying up late to get ahead might seem like a good idea but it's going to hold you back. A one-off late night every now and then is manageable. But when it becomes night after night for weeks, months or years, you'll experience a range of health issues that may or may not be obvious (at least to start with).
There are the obvious signs of tiredness ... yawning, needing coffee to get through the day, feeling flat and in need of a sleep mid-afternoon, irritability, a lack of focus, headaches, and an almost constant feeling of being unwell.
But diving deeper to see what's going on beneath the surface will reveal what's really happening to your health ...
- lowered or compromised immunity making you more prone to colds and, in the long-term, increasing your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, cancer and autoimmune diseases
- an increased appetite and with it strong cravings for sugary and fatty foods
- blood vessels working less effectively
- increased damage to cells, in particular those in the liver, lungs and small intestines
- an almost constant state of anxiousness
- increased weight because your body is less able to regulate blood sugar levels
And all that because getting ahead was prioritised above sleep.
I get it. I've been there, done that. I put work and other commitments ahead of my body's need for sleep because I thought it was the right thing to do. While there might be some short-term gains, in the long term, which is where real success comes, things are far from rosy. In fact, they can be quite serious.
Putting you and your health at the heart of everything you do means you can experience greater clarity, be more productive, get through the day well, and ultimately maintain a level of health that not only helps you be successful at work but also in the whole of your life.
Sleep isn't something for months down the track when you're on holiday or next year or whenever. If you're serious about living your life fully now and experiencing real success, the time for sleep is now.
Sleep, quality sleep, is a priority now.
What will you commit to changing? Will you allow more time for quality sleep so you can achieve real success?
Tracey Hancock is a coach and mentor passionately committed to helping people live well. Drawing on her own life experience and the lessons she's learnt trying to be and do what she thought was expected of her, Tracey will guide you to reconnect with yourself, putting you and your health at the heart of everything you do in life and business.
If you know it's time to be you and live your real life, contact Tracey today to learn more about the REALiving approach.