No matter what a typical day entails for you, you do one thing that everybody else does, and it’s imperative to your very wellbeing, and that is sleep.

You know you feel overall better after a standard 7-9 hours, but this Sleep Awareness Week we’re digging a little deeper, turning to the experts (hey Calm 👋), and dreaming up what you need to know about quality sleep and how to get it. 

So, before you hit the hay, let’s dive in.

Let’s start with what happens when you don’t get enough sleep ⚡

We could say this a million times, and it still wouldn’t be enough. Quality sleep is so important. But, the flipside of the equation is not talked about nearly as often. What happens when you’re lacking shuteye? We asked the team at our partner app Calm to weigh in. 

“Sleep deprivation interferes with the body’s ability to create serotonin, the hormone that acts as a mood stabilizer,” they explained. “It slows our creative thinking, memory, learning, and judgment.” 

So, feeling tired is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the cognitive impacts of not getting enough sleep. These additional outcomes could make you less productive at work, less present with your family and friends, and could prevent you from making decisions at your most optimal level. 

In addition to the mental toll that a lack of sleep takes, there’s a physical toll, too. 

“A lack of sleep can cause weight gain, put you at a higher risk of diabetes and heart disease, and lower your immunity,” shared the team at Calm. “One study found that poor sleep and shorter sleep duration in the weeks preceding exposure to a virus were associated with lower resistance to illness.”   

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Simply put: you are not equipped to feel or function at your best when you’re not logging the valuable hours of sleep that you need. 

So, if you’re someone who’s struggled with sleep for a while, or you’re only now finding yourself having difficulty, how do you go about tackling the issue? 

💤 Creating a routine to foster better, more restful sleep 

Getting into a cycle where you can’t sleep, and then you worry about not being able to sleep, can land you in a stressful place. But, the good news is that there are steps you can take to get back on track with a healthier sleep routine. 

For Calm, helping people sleep sounder is their bread and butter. They discuss five ways that incorporating daily mindfulness can help restless sleepers overcome the obstacles preventing them from resting. 

Their list includes thoughtful tips like identifying daily habits that are known to interfere with sleep (like caffeine or alcohol too close to bedtime), the importance of an evening ritual (like going electronics-free an hour before bedtime), as well as meditations they recommend for this specific challenge.

Calm also creates helpful tools like this sleep journal to remove the guesswork from taking those first steps towards a better and more sustainable sleep routine. 

Friendly reminder here that if you need another reason to try Gympass, Calm is one of the awesome partners that you get access to. We’re excited about it (and sleeping better), and love the chance to help you sleep better, too. 

Do something small this week to make a big sleep impact 📋

Let’s take a pledge together this Sleep Awareness Week. Do something to help yourself (or a loved one) make the first move towards the kind of quality sleep we all deserve. Maybe that means calling it for the day one cup of coffee earlier, or emailing this article to that sleep-struggling person in your life. 

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The Gympass community is sleeping better every day, and you can too. Let’s get there together.