Sleep-The Unsung Hero We All Need

May 3, 2022

Unsung heroes show up all over entertainment media. Chewbacca acts as Han Solo’s moral compass in the Star Wars movies; without him, Han wouldn’t have returned to the Death Star battle, and the Rebellion would have been finished. Samwise Gamgee from the Lord of the Rings guarded Frodo with careful watchfulness, keeping him alive. Neville Longbottom from Harry Potter stood his ground even as Voldemort set his head on fire, and he is the one who killed the last Horcrux so Harry could defeat Voldemort.  

Now, those with a growth mindset may think they account for all the heroes in their lives. But who are we missing? What do we forget to acknowledge? Who’s the unsung hero of OUR lives?

Well, I’ll tell you: it’s SLEEP. That’s right; those few hours of rest you get every night are actually vital to keep you going. When you ace a school project or run a mile, do you think, Thank god for sleep, or none of this would have been possible

Sleep is just there for you, every night, recharging your batteries. When you neglect sleep, you fault IT because you feel tired. Sleep killed that snake for you, and you forget about it as you praise Harry for casting Expelliarmus. 

People with a growth mindset may find it hard to set aside time for sleep. You just want to go, go, go, hit every mark, accomplish every goal, and then set some more. “Sleep is for the weak,” you chant while your eyes blur as you stare at your computer screen. Or maybe you come home from a long day and feel you deserve at least two or three episodes of that new T.V. show you started. Even if you sleep late, a cup of coffee will keep you awake in the morning, so it’s okay, right? 

Caffeine, you think, is the hero of your story. Everything will be fine, because caffeine can save you! That’s not true, folks. Caffeine is not your savior. It’s not the one that contains cytokines, a type of protein that wards off inflammation and infections such as the flu. Sleep is the one who saves you and keeps you healthy and maintains your growth mindset.

Sleep is essential to keep up your physical health core and focus on your growth mindset. You have to get enough sleep to reduce blood pressure, reduce blood sugar, and foster muscle repair. You can’t get in your rigorous workout without a good night’s sleep. You could stay up all night to study, but you still won’t ace your exam if you don’t have the clearheadedness that comes with enough sleep. You won’t be able to maintain your growth mindset if you don’t focus on YOU and your health above any other goals you wish to achieve. 

How Do You Know If You're Getting Enough Sleep?

How many times do you hit “snooze” in the morning? Do you feel alert at your first meeting of the day, or do you find yourself blinking to stay awake? Do you depend on your cup of coffee to keep your energy levels high? 

Having a good sleep cycle is just a success habit that needs to be developed. With your growth mindset, you need to ensure you keep good sleeping habits. Go to bed at a reasonable time every night so you can feel awake and alert in the mornings. It’s okay to take baby steps; every inch toward progress is a step in the right direction. And with every step, you’ll start to feel better about your health and be able to accomplish goals with a clear head and rested sight.

This Week’s Core Tip:

Are you a morning person or a night person? When do you feel the most energy: when you wake up, or at the end of the day? It’s best if you stick to your own rhythms and create a sleep schedule based on how you operate. However, personally, I have found that it is possible to retrain yourself to sleeping patterns you wish to maintain.

Make sure you focus on your individual needs and workings. You can depend on your growth mindset to help you keep track of your patterns. Understand how many hours of sleep you need each night. Some people need 9, while others may only need 5 to 6. It all depends on you and how your body operates. 

If you need help, it’s always good to turn to technological resources. There are plenty of apps and devices that help you watch your sleep. The app SleepWatch has been super helpful for me. It tells me how much restful sleep I’m getting and shows me the areas where I need to improve. 

It may also be a good idea to get a Fitbit, which tracks your sleeping patterns and tells you how many hours you need. Fitbits are really good for many different aspects of physical health, and they’ll let you know which areas to work on. 

Remember, as someone with a growth mindset, sleep is your unsung hero! Don’t neglect it, because you need it to thrive.

Want to know where you stand in the five values of life tied to happiness (your five cores)? Take this two-minute Core Values Quiz to get your core score in the five values of life.

Will Moore is a gamification, habits and happiness expert.

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