sleep and rest

Improve Your Life with More Sleep and Better Rest

“Stop the glorification of busy.” This movement to stop glorifying how busy our lives are goes hand-in-hand with boasting about how much sleep we’re running off of. “I’m so busy” meet “I’m so tired” — an introduction to a relationship based on the idea that the busier we are and the less sleep we get, the more successful we appear to be and more worthy we feel.

Being overworked or surviving the day like a zombie shouldn’t trigger bragging rights. Busybodies and night owls can take note that living a slower-paced lifestyle with good rest and relaxation shouldn’t have to equate to unimportance, or even guilt about enjoying downtime. R&R significantly boost your health and wellness, and there’s nothing shameful about having a healthy mind and body.

“Sleep is not a luxury,” says the Boston Sleep Care Center. “It’s a necessity for optimal functioning.”

Why Good Rest and Sleep Matter

With less than seven to eight hours of sleep, your mood, concentration, focus, creativity and productivity all suffer. When this happens, your work performance can also decline. Zoning out of conversations, nodding off during meetings and staring at the computer screen with a foggy head are common and accepted as the norm, which can threaten success in your job.

Adequate sleep also helps with your relationships, household responsibilities and as a father. More energy and better moods foster more quality and positive interactions with your family; whereas sleepiness can cause agitation and withdrawal from those whom you love.

Stressed out? Constantly see the glass half empty? Sleep and mental health are closely linked too. The Sleep Health Foundation shares that sleep improves our resilience and ability to handle adversity. Catching some extra ZZZs can help fight feelings of depression, anxiety and negative thinking. Not to mention, more sleep can help reduce signs of aging and prevent that facial expression of exhaustion.

8 Hours of Sleep and Proud

If you say “I’m so tired” on autopilot and constantly feel like you’re drowning in drowsiness, make transforming your sleep habits a priority.

  • Commit to a new sleeping schedule Monday–Sunday. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Consistency reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle, advises Mayo Clinic.
  • Create a sleep-friendly sanctuary. The most restful environment is dark, quiet, cool and gadget free. Invest in a good mattress and choose the right bedding; Best Health recommends natural tree-fibre sheets, a soft cashmere throw, hypoallergenic down comforter, silk duvet cover and lots of pillows.
  • Reserve downtime. Log off from work and electronics before you hit the hay. Relaxing, letting go of stress and clearing your head, so you mind doesn’t become a hamster wheel of worries as you try to fall asleep. Rituals like taking a bath, meditation or sipping Sleepytime tea can help you transition from nightly duties to sleep.
  • Create a sleep kit. Use sleep aids like earplugs, a sleeping mask, essential oils (like lavender or frankincense) or melatonin. Natural melatonin produced by your body puts you into a state of quiet wakefulness, according to Johns Hopkins. Use the sleep-inducing supplement moderately and safely to promote sleep.
  • Research sleep apps. Sleeping apps like Relax Melodies, Sleep Cycle, Recolor, Sleep Time and Pillow can be used for accomplishing a full seven-plus hours of blissful rest.

The first step to get more, better sleep is to truly believe in the benefits of good rest and commit to the change for optimal wellness. Maintaining good health is 24/7 and adopting proper sleep hygiene maximizes what you can achieve during the day.

Armin Brott

View posts by Armin Brott
Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.

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