How Much Sleep Is Optimal For Personal Development?

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Often when I meet people who are troubled, struggling with a lack of self-confidence, poor self-esteem lacking both motivation and self-discipline, they are also sporadic sleepers.

Some nights they may get 7-hours, other nights they get less than six – and even more troubling is that the quality of sleep is not adequate to function let alone improve their personal development.

Even more concerning is the fact that in most Western and European countries the reported cases of troubled sleep is rising rather rapidly over the last 10-15 years – and is approaching 50% of the population in some countries.

Personal improvement has as much to do with being "in control" of your behavior – and one of those critical behaviors is sleep.

Research has shown the dismal impact of lack of sleep on intelligence levels – especially of school kids who require more consistent sleep but rarely get it.  Not only does this research demonstrate emotional issues, it also demonstrates actual chemical changes in the brain.

Here are some of the impacts on the brain impacted by lack of sleep that may hamper your desire for personal development:

  • Low levels of alertness leading to poor judgement resulting in less feedback when working on a program of personal development
  • Lower levels of learning and less ability to be creative – both critical to self-improvement
  • Increased feelings of anxiety, less ability to control stress defeating personal devevelopment
  • All of this leads to less of a feeling of connectedness, less social involvement leading to lower self-esteem and ultimately, less self-discipline – all critical obstacles to personal-development

Once thought to hamper just our alertness, it is now obvious that sleep deprivation and poor quality sleep are major factors required as part of your personal development campaign.  If you seek greater mind power and personal development then focus on getting 6-7 hours of quality sleep each night.

Here are 5 ways you can improve the quality of sleep helping accelerate your personal development:

  1. Practice stress relief exercises before turning in – give yourself at least 20-minutes to de-stress using techniques such as Yoga and Meditation, listening to classical music, reading or practicing quiet time to calm your mind.
  2. Try not to rely on stimulation as a mechanism of calming.  Even though listening to your iPod, playing video games or watching TV may seem relaxing – your brain is still stimulated and hasn't had proper time to relax.
  3. Be consistent with your sleep patterns.  Try and get to bed at the same time each night and wake up at roughly the same time each morning
  4. Have a reason and purpose to both get to sleep and to wake up.  Many people with sleeping problems are simply manifesting other problems with their lives at night.  As part of your overall personal development program you should see your sleep habits improve if you focus on them.
  5. Eat well during the day and try not to have carbohydrates before going to bed.  You don't want a sugar-high keeping you up nor do you want stomach problems such as acid-reflux waking you up a few hours after getting to sleep.

Follow these simple guidelines to experience improved sleep and you will have conquered a very important element in your overall personal-development program.

Jeff

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