Let’s set the scene: it’s 6:00 pm and you just got home from your 9-5 job, your body is begging you to rest. You don’t listen because, “real bosses don’t take days off” instead you stay up until 1:00am working on both your side business and creative passions. You fall asleep in the living room, get up at 5:00 am to workout and start your day all over again. This is how so many of us are living out our days so the question becomes, “when do we carve out room for the 7-10 hours of sleep we should be getting?”
According to research, the rise of stroke among Americans ages 18-50 is on the rise and one component of that rise is stress. Valuing our sleep is one change we can make to being less stressed and start to have a better quality of life. According to the National Sleep Foundation we should be getting 7-10 hours of sleep nightly. However, the CDC found that half of all Americans say they feel sleepy during the day between three and seven days per week. However, marginalized people of color experience insufficient sleep at higher rates than our White counterparts.
Graph from the National Sleep Foundation (Insufficient sleep by race & ethnicity)
One reason for this is that jobs in industries that are production-focused (i.e. factory workers, maintenance workers, farmers) are still worked mostly by marginalized people of color. The CDC found that more than 44% of workers in production-focused industries, such as factory workers and plant operators, report getting the minimum seven hours of sleep or less per night. Although 7 hours is recommended, the National Sleep Foundation also states that the more physical labor someone does the more rest and recovery their body needs which means more sleep and rest.
In marginalized communities of color we also have passed down these “generational codes” that say we have to “work really hard” nonstop. Now, we are calling it being “booked, blessed, and busy” but the #hustleculture that we have passed down and renamed is still a huge detriment to our health.
The social standards of “grinding hard” and “no rest” are why young adults are seeing a rise in stress, anxiety, and stroke. The American Journal of Industrial Medicine states that working 61 to 70 hours a week increased the risk of coronary heart disease by 42%. Working 71 to 80 hours pushed that risk up to 63%. A study done by the ManPower Group on Millennial Careers found that Millennials often do not work less than around 50 hours a week. The stress this causes is not only to the body but it impacts the mind and is why our nation is experiencing a rise of depression and anxiety due to lack of sleep.
Insufficient sleep has a negative impact to our day to day and according to the Cleveland Clinic when we do not get a good nights we can experience:
- Lack of Focus
- Increase Risk of Car Accidents
- Impaired Memory
This will not only impact us at our jobs but in our day to day life. I am sure I am not the only one who has read a book or watched their favorite tv show and became so tired I forgot what happened! Insufficient sleep not only impacts the tiny pleasures we have in life but can lead to us getting seriously injured such as falling asleep while driving. The danger of falling asleep at the wheel is something that could be avoided if we make the decision to put our health and needs forward.
It is time to make the pledge to yourself right now
Let go of #hustleculture and get rest!
Repeat after me: I am worthy of a day off and producing does not define my value.
Here are some changes you can implement now and throughout the day to be sure you have get the sufficient sleep you need:
- Put away smartphones and electronics an hour before bed. That post can wait until the morning.
- Cooler temperatures help with falling asleep and this is a good excuse to get another nice pair of PJs.
- Reduce your blue light exposure. Yes, this is your pass to also get those cute glasses.
- Switch up your bedroom. Create a space that you can truly relax in. Create your peace.
- Take the time to take a longer hotbath or shower.
- Follow @thenapministryon Instagram and learn about radical rest
When you get a good night’s rest your body will thank you. Adequate sleep allows for you to have:
- Better mood. You will feel better and your body will thank you.
- Better social interactions, now you can actually have energy to hangout with friends.
- Your overall health will improve.
- Your memory and alertness will increase.
Sleep is important and it is time we all unplug from this hustleculture you can be booked, blessed, and well rested. Because true success is linked to adequate rest.
Also take this moment to contact your primary care provider (or find one) to set up an appointment to discuss any concerns with sleep deprivation.
HUED is committed to eliminating health disparities and improving overall patient outcomes for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people. How do we do that? By designing equity-based education, enabling access to culturally sensitive healthcare providers, and empowering patients to make data-informed decisions about their healthcare. That is why we offer a directory that connects Black, Latinx, and Indigenous patients with culturally humble medical providers.
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Site content is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.