No such thing as "catching up on sleep"


A part of my job is to kindly and with consent…(how do I put this) call bulls**t. To question when someone is speaking a belief that is most probably not true, and could rather be a relic from stories we have inherited or chosen to believe. One of these stories is the good ol’: “It’s fine that I don’t sleep enough during the week, I make up for it during the weekend.” or “So what if I sleep only 5 hours, the only consequence is that I am tired.” These beliefs are very well ingrained into our lifestyles, mine included, for which the driving force is extreme productivity. Sleep, seen through the lens of productivity, is a massive hassle. Time that could, instead, be spent living our best lives. However, the ever-expanding area of sleep science has shown that sleep deprivation has dire and irreversible consequences. Diminishing our sleep even by 2 hours causes our sympathetic nervous system (responsible for our alert state and flight-or-flight stress response) to be consistently “ON”, preventing us from winding down and causing our heart rate to be elevated for a sustained period of time. It impairs our ability to control blood sugar, causes weight gain by disrupting hormones that control our sense of satiety and hunger, and disrupts our immune response – making us more susceptible to infectious diseases[1]. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. All because we binge-watch Netflix juuuust a little bit longer in the evenings. Or we don’t know how to set boundaries to how much of our work seeps into our private lives. Or we allow toxic relationships to linger in our lives, making us subtly (or not so subtly) anxious and wired.


There are antidotes to this though. You can call your own bulls**t.

You can examine your daily routine and see what needs tweaking for the purpose of getting you closer to consistently restful nights. Changing daily habits is by no means an easy task. We did, in fact, choose our current lifestyles and habits because they served a certain purpose. The Netflix binging can be soothing and numbing (a safety strategy). Bringing our work to bed confirms our need for an identity. Keeping a draining friendship may be a sign of loyalty. Kudos to you for finding ways to keep yourself safe and protected. You did well. But do the things you currently allow in your daily life still make up the fabric of the person you truly want to become?

Are you satisfied with staying in status quo? If yes, rock on. If not, welcome. There’s work to be done, and you can do it. More specifically, through sleep coaching. There are habits to be examined, new healthier ones to be embedded, and some reckoning to be had with yourself on some of the choices you make every day. The reckoning, the honest self-reflection, is the tough part. Everything else – the brainstorming of new, healthy habits; the creation of practices that will make those new habits robust and permanent – can TRULY be fun. And I mean, immensely joyful and empowering because you will be finding your own unique solutions to the issues that have been undermining your health and peace of mind for years possibly. Are you ready for change? Join me for weekly free content on the embodiment of healthy sleep habits on the blog of https://www.restfulsleep.eu or on https://www.facebook.com/restfulsleep.eu Or, for an individual approach, book a 1-on-1 coaching session to dive deeper into your specific areas of change. Either way, you will be a step closer to restful sleep. No more counting sheep.

[1] Paraphrased from “Why we sleep” by Matthew Walker