We need sleep.
It can be frustrating, especially when you’re not getting enough, but every member of the human race needs sleep. While the media would have you believe that that’s where the similarities end, the importance of sleep to a productive and worthwhile (read “worth living”) existence is undeniable. While we debate everything from sleep quality to sleep measurement, sleeping surfaces to sleep aids, sleeping positions to sleep cycles, the fact remains. We all need sleep.
In our always-on, never-enough-time culture, compromise is constant. Being forced to choose one thing over another, even though we want both, is just part of being an adult. Unfortunately, we don’t do a great job of differentiating between wants and needs. Most of us have a tendency to generalize all the things we really want as needs. Genuine needs, however, are things we literally cannot do without. Our quality of life suffers when our needs aren’t met, and the effects on our circumstances can be detrimental.
Maslow had it figured out.
Unless you’re a psychologist or there’s one in your family, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is probably somewhere in your brain, right above transcendentalism and below the basics of Freud. When it comes to building, improving, or overhauling your life, Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs can be used as a blueprint for progress. The concept is simple. We can’t achieve a higher level of need until we’ve fulfilled the levels below it. A pyramid is built from the base up. That’s why this is a hierarchy and not just a list.
What’s this got to with sleep?
Sleep is square one. Among the things we debate about sleep is its importance to our lives and livelihoods. It was Maslow that identified sleep as a biological need – part of the very first, base level of the pyramid. Just like food, water, and safety, when we don’t get enough sleep, all the other areas of our life can suffer.
Is your lost sleep active or passive?
If you’ve been deliberately skimping on sleep, you can probably stop reading and know exactly how to improve your current circumstances. The vast majority of us who aren’t meeting our sleep needs either don’t know we’re missing out, or don’t know why. The tired and weary aren’t volunteering to live life that way. If you’ve been unable to fulfill your potential, or you’ve been feeling bad physically, it’s a good bet that part of your foundation is shaky.
Shore up that foundation.
We need sleep. Are you a believer yet? If your sleep is suffering, it’s about time you took a diagnostic approach to getting your needs met.
Think honestly and openly about your mattress. Are you comfortable at night? Do you toss and turn? Does your body hurt in the morning? If your mattress has valleys or you’re being poked by springs, you’re not going to meet your sleep need until you resolve your mattress issues.
Perfect the environment. Engineer the ideal sleeping situation by paying attention to the sound, light, and even fragrances in your sleeping space. If you’re being roused from deep sleep by the sun, a street light, or your noisy neighbors, you’ve got work to do. Address those issues early and often to max out your comfort and alertness.
Visit a sleep expert. Start with your doctor. But if you have any questions about your bed, follow up with one of our sleep experts at A Goodnight Sleepstore. We’ll focus on your problems and the solutions, not on brands or gimmicks. We’ll hook you up with what you need – nothing more and nothing less.