The 7 Deadly Sins of Sleep

The 7 Deadly Sins of Sleep

Thou shalt not do that again – if you want to live a long life!

If you live by the philosophy that you’ll sleep when you’re dead, we suggest you start repenting your sleep sins now. Think we’re being overly dramatic? Long term sleep deprivation has been linked to a smorgasbord of health disasters, including Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease and Cancer.  

“We know that regular sleep is an important part of our circadian rhythm, and we know that much of our health, particularly with regard to DNA repair when we talk about cancer, is regulated by our circadian rhythm,” Cheryl Thompson, a researcher at Case Western Reserve University, told Fortune Magazine. 

Are you committing one (or more) of the 7 deadly sins of sleep? Time to repent and sleep more.

1. Lust – You’re having an affair with your snooze button

Lust is usually associated with sexual desire, but it can also be symbolic of lack of control. If you bang on your snooze button every morning, it may mean you aren’t getting enough sleep, that you’re still exhausted when it’s time to wake up. Or you may be suffering from insomnia, sleep apnea or depression. 

What you can do: Try moving your alarm clock away from the bed so you must get up to hit the snooze. Sleep doctors agree, those 10 minutes you were hoping for will make you feel worse if you give into the temptation.

2. Gluttony – You’re over-indulging in naps

Consuming anything to the point of waste, whether it’s food or sleep – that’s gluttony. Too much sleep can be a sign of depression but it’s also been associated with Alzheimer’s and Type 2 Diabetes as you age. 

What you can do: Record how much you sleep and how you feel before and after sleep – and then make an appointment with a sleep specialist to see if there are any underlying reasons why you’re sleeping so much.

3. Greed – You can’t get enough caffeine

Is your OCD (Obsessive Coffee Disorder) getting in the way of a good night’s sleep? A 16-ounce cup of the house blend at Starbucks has an average of 259 milligrams of caffeine compared with only 143 milligrams in the same-sized cup of coffee at Dunkin Donuts. Studies show 30mg or less of caffeine can alter mood and affect behavior and 100mg per day can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms upon abstinence. 

What you can do: Downsize your coffee order in the morning, cut the caffeine off by 2 pm and hydrate with water between cups of coffee. If you need a mid-afternoon adrenaline jolt, brew a cup of green tea.

4. Sloth – You drink too much (alcohol) before bedtime

Often known as the sin of omission, sloth is perhaps the least serious of all the cardinal sins. But if you’re drinking too much alcohol before bed that sloth-like feeling you crave can be the death knell for your sleep later. That nightcap might help you fall asleep faster but it’s going to wake up during the night – often. 

What you can do: Sub your regular nightcap for a non-alcoholic version with tart cherry juice or coconut water. Or try one of these sleep smoothie recipes.

5. Wrath – You rule the world with your smartphone beside your bed

We get that you love your smartphone – we love ours too. According to the National Sleep Foundation more than 85% of adults have at least one screen in front of them before bedtime, which can wake the brain up instead of preparing it for sleep. 

What you can do: Set up a family charging station in a common room and buy a real alarm clock to wake you up. If you need your phone with you at night, put it on sleep mode and turn it facedown while you’re sleeping.

6. Envy – You crave naps so much that you must have one every day

Naps can be a glorious way to find the energy you need to power through a stressful, busy day. But napping too often, late in the day or for too long is the same as putting a curse on your nighttime sleep. 

What you can do: Try a coffee nap – a cold cup of coffee before a nap. It takes approximately 20 minutes for caffeine to travel from your stomach to your blood stream – the perfect nap length. A cup of coffee before you lie down gives your mind time rest before the caffeine begins blazing its trail. Great way to beat the after-nap groggies, right?

7. Pride – You brag about how little sleep you need

Pride is a slippery slope and it’s normal to want to celebrate what you’re good at. But being able to cope on little sleep is just plain stupid. If you’re trying to win the worst sleeper award, you can have it. Seriously.