Can 8 Hours of Sleep REALLY Change Your Life? Cosmo Finds Out...

Consider this a wake-up call.

Most Popular
GIF

Writer and Blogger Karishma Rajani put herself on
an eight-hours-a-night sleep diet. What happened
next was literally a wake-up call:

"As a child, my idea of rebellion was staying up past 8pm and getting some downtime in front of the television. As a teenager, long hours on the phone, binge-watching sitcoms, and a semblance of a social life ensured that sleep was basically at the bottom of my priority list, and remained there even when I first started working. (Hello, me time?). It wasn't until a recent crash-and-burn that I sat down to re-evaluate my complicated relationship with sleep, and resolved to make some changes. It's no secret that sleep deprivation can lead to some serious consequences. Studies say lack of sleep ups our risk of heart problems, makes us depressed, turns us forgetful, messes with our skin, our weight, and our sex life. And not just any sleep will do—you need eight hours to function at optimal levels. In a lab-based sleep study, subjects who got just six hours of sleep for two weeks functioned as poorly as those stayed awake for two days. Those who got eight hours of shut-eye had the highest performance.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

So it was settled then—I needed to fix my nocturnal habits. Step one: get my circadian rhythm in order. If my nights of endless party-hopping had taught me anything, it's that sleeping late not only ruins the next day, but also the night after. So for the first week, no matter how much I wanted to snooze, I forced myself to rise at 6am. Consequently, I was drowsy as a baby by 10 every night, and drifted off to sleep almost instantaneously.

Most Popular

Waking up with the birds made me feel like I was living life, Beyoncé-size. I'd hit the yoga mat early (downward dog for the win), and take in enough oxygen to last me through the day. As the hours progressed, I noticed feeling more 'present' and in control of my life. At work, I was more alert, focused, and in a position to make better decisions. #MindfulMornings

My eating habits shifted, too. Since my days began early, I started with the quintessential hearty breakfast and ended with a light dinner. Bonus: I beat sugar cravings and curbed caffeine consumption like a boss. Oddly, I also felt fitter and healthier. There's probably a researcher nodding his head at this development. Because a study by Brigham University confirms the correlation between sleep and metabolism. "Those with more than 90 minutes of variation in sleep and wake time during the week had higher body fat than those with less than 60 minutes of variation," said Professor Bruce Bailey, BYU.

Wait, there's more self-righteousness coming your way: sleep, not laughter, is the best emotional medicine. Just five days into my snooze experiment, I felt the benefits on a deeper level. I'd wake up with a happy bubble that was also impermeable (friends actually asked me about it).

Now, as a Cosmo girl, there's an important question left to be asked: did my social life suffer? For the sake of this experiment, yes. But now, sleep and I have entered an open relationship. I let him take me to bed five days a week, and he lets me chase the high on the others."

What do you think?

Life
Share
10 Signs You're Actually a Psychopath...
... no, seriously!
Life
Share
These Are The Five Foods That Starve Your Fat Cells
Eating these will actually help you shed your fat , think of them as an answer to your fitness prayers.
Life
Share
7 Health Issues in Your Body—Identified By Your Handwriting!
We bet you didn't see this coming...
Life
Share
Facebook is Introducing This Brilliant New Feature to Protect Women in India
Well, at least it's a start.
Life
Share
Online Art Dealing: An Insider's Look
Cosmo caught up with Sonali Batra, Founder of greatbanyanart.com, about the trappings of an online-art-gallery owner's life...
Life
Share
10 Easy Ways To Join The Health Bandwagon
Killing cravings is nowhere on the list!
Life
Share
Looking For a Model Life? Meet Your Match...
Elegant, confident, and powerfully simple—the all-new Volvo S90 has all the making of a supermodel. Here's why.
Life
Share
Women Are Using This Gym Hack to Get Extra-Bubbly Butts
Here's what you need to know about it.
Life
Share
This Summer Sushi HAS To Be On Your June Food Wishlist
You didn't think sushi could improve, but it has.
Life
Share
Here's Why You Are Unforgettable, Based On Your Zodiac Sign!
Breaking down the science of exactly what makes people flock towards you!