You feel tired all the time. Sluggish. Slow. Unmotivated. You wonder if you’re depressed. You feel like you need a vacation, even if you’re on vacation.
Maybe you are depressed or need a vacation, but there’s another very simple explanation for your malaise you need to consider: you need a good night’s rest.
People aren’t getting enough sleep. And when they do get sleep, it’s low quality sleep. Sleep researcher Matthew Walker went and wrote an entire book to sound the alarm about the sleep epidemic, and to convince people to get more sleep. There’s a lot of reasons you might be getting terrible sleep – you drink a lot of coffee, you eat late, you have an office job, you don’t exercise, you stay up late staring at a bright screen – but whatever the reason, not sleeping enough or sleeping well has consequences.
Sleep repairs your body after daily wear and tear, and is essential for the formation of memories in your brain. As far as anyone can tell though, every part of your body benefits from sleep, and every part of your body gets worse for a lack of it. The reason that sleep deprivation is one of the most common torture methods isn’t just because people like sleep, it’s because sleep is essential to maintaining your health and sanity.
Go to bed early tonight. Avoid eating for several hours. Turn off the screens. Put your phone in another room. Get your bedroom as cold as possible. Cover as many sources of light in the room as possible (especially the window), and wear a sleep mask if you have one. If the thought of being well-rested isn’t appealing enough for you, start reading about lucid dreaming, and sleep more to try and master the art.
But above all: get some rest. You probably need it.