How getting 8 hours of sleep has helped me

photo of a girl sleeping
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Sleeping for eight hours each night has a multitude of physical and mental health benefits.

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After reading multiple articles that expressed the necessity of consistently sleeping between seven to nine hours a night, I reflected on my sleeping habits and decided that I wanted to test the benefits of sleeping the recommended amount.

So for seven days, I tried my best to cut my procrastination and complete my to-do list in the afternoon so that I could get a good night’s sleep. I slowly moved my bedtime 15 minutes earlier every day (12 a.m., 11:45 p.m., 11:30 p.m. and so on) to make sure that this change in schedule wouldn’t fail and I would be able to successfully sleep eight hours each day. Compared to other challenges people try for better health, I found sleeping early to be fairly painless. Here are some of my observations.

I feel more productive

Opposed to feeling guilty whenever I slept late, I began feeling more and more productive the earlier I slept and woke up. Knowing that the day has not started for most people felt peaceful, as I didn’t need to rush to get my day started in an effort to stay ahead of everybody else. Being able to complete my daily routine slowly and mindfully made me feel productive and made me feel that the day would be a good day.

My mind is more alert

Because I have time to prepare (both literally and mentally) for my summer courses before the official class time, my mind is more alert when I enter the virtual classroom. This is in contrast to my condition before, where I was sluggish and barely awake as I turned on my laptop just in the nick of time. Due to being more alert, I noticed that I was able to absorb and learn class material more efficiently as well as be able to solve the math problems during discussion sections faster.

My skin is better

Before starting this challenge, I had a hunch that my skin would get better because it usually worsened whenever I slept too late or didn’t get enough sleep. Indeed, this was true. Though the difference was subtle and the changes were slow, I noticed that the texture of my skin slowly improved throughout the seven days. I got less acne and my skin became smoother.

Even though this weeklong challenge has technically finished, I plan to continue this habit both for its current positives and in anticipation of any other long-term benefits. Knowing that sleeping early and for eight hours can give me a little bit more control over my day is a good feeling, and I encourage you to try this challenge out for yourself too!

Contact Erica Jean at [email protected].