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Getting into debt is very easy, all you have to do is spend more than you make.  The same is true when it comes to sleep.  If you consistently skip sleep and fail to get enough sleep to meet your body’s requirements, you will rack those lost hours up as sleep debt.  The more sleep you lose, the higher your sleep debt climbs, and just like a credit card, once the amount you owe gets high enough, it can be almost impossible to catch up.  If you find yourself falling asleep when you shouldn’t be, snapping at everyone around you for no reason, or feeling exhausted from the minute you wake up in the morning, you may be deep in sleep debt.  Here is a plan to help you get out of sleep debt.

 

1.     Value Sleep

One of the reasons we are all so sleep deprived is that we do not place the appropriate value on sleep.  It is as necessary to our overall health as clean water and good food.  However, we generally treat it as a luxury that we just can’t afford.   This way of thinking is the surest way to find yourself in sleep debt with no way out.  Make an investment in your future by placing the right value on the time you spend sleeping.

 

2.     Make Enough Deposits to Cover Your Withdrawals

Most people use a bank account to help manage the flow of their money.  When they get money, they put it in the bank so that they can cover the expenses that are coming out.  Think about sleep the same way.  If you wrote checks against this week’s paycheck but then decided not to deposit the paycheck but to buy new shoes instead, there would be real consequences when the checks are cashed and there is no money to cover them.  The same is true for your sleep.  If you are expending energy all day and then skipping sleep at night, you are essentially writing bad checks against your body. The consequences may not be a quick but they are still there.

 

3.     Fix Today First

One of the mistakes people make when they try to pay off their debts is that they fail to make changes to how they are living today that support not being in debt.  The same is true when it comes to sleep.  In order to pay off your sleep debt, you need to stop accumulating it first.  This means improving your sleep hygiene and taking steps to get the sleep you need now so that you can start paying down the debt.

 

4.     More than the Minimum

In order to pay off a credit card, you would need to make more than the minimum payment each month.  The same is true when it comes to paying down your sleep debt.  Once you have improved your sleep hygiene, start looking for opportunities to get a little more sleep each day.  Adding a few extra hours a week will help you pay down the debt.  It won’t be quick, but over time you will begin to feel better and notice that you are no longer nodding off in the evenings.