Are You a Walking Zombie?

We’re talking about hardworking dudes who never seem to get enough sleep. In fact, some guys seem to think “only needing four hours of sleep” is some kind of virtue.

As UCLA Health notes, sleep is often at the bottom of most dude’s lists. And hey, we get it, you’re busy. But there are some truly good reasons to pay attention to your sleep.

Sleep deprivation makes you fat.

If you’re sleep deprived, you could crush it at the gym all day every day and still have trouble getting rid of that Dad-bod. For one thing, sleep deprivation makes you a lot more hungry. You’re going to feel like you’ve earned it because hey, you were crushing it at the gym. Your body isn’t going to be too happy with power shakes either. It’s going to want high-carb, high-fat, high-sugar offerings instead.

Unfortunately, sometimes even the best fitness regimen can’t make up for our sleep-deprived binge-fests.

You could have big problems even if you are somehow able to resist the call of your own hunger. Sleep deprivation also makes your cells more insulin-resistant. This means you won’t burn fat or build muscle as quickly as someone who is getting enough sleep. You also won’t be getting enough growth hormone to really build that six-pack, since GH is produced only when we are getting our shut-eye.

Sleepy driving is even worse than drunk driving.

Driving while drowsy is a lot more likely to create lapses in attention, which can lead to accidents. If you’ve got a long commute, then you’re in a great deal of danger each time you don’t get enough sleep at night.

You probably won’t get that promotion.

Let’s face it, you aren’t doing your best work if you’re sleep deprived all day. Even a steady regimen of caffeine can’t help you nail that presentation if you’re a walking zombie. If you really want to show everyone what you can do and present that confident, in-charge, alpha male air then you’re going to have to give yourself the time to get well-rested.

Your SO is probably tired of dealing with your grumpy ass.

Do you find yourself snapping at your SO over nothing at all? Your spouse will probably appreciate spending time with the well-rested, fun you instead of the sleep-deprived asshole you. You might even get more sex. And because you won’t be so damned tired, you might even have the stamina for all that sex. Look, we’re just telling it like it is.

Having trouble sleeping? Here’s how you make the shift.

Okay, okay. You’re ready to admit you need 8 hours every night if you’re going to function at your very best. But how can you do it?

First, you’re going to need to cut the caffeine. You’ll probably have to do it over the weekend, since your first day of low-caffeine life is going to suck. Limit yourself to one cup of coffee in the morning. Avoid any coffee, tea, or soda that might get you wired after noon. Caffeine stays in your system for at least 12 hours, and it’s really only forcing you into an endless cycle of sleep deprivation.

Next, create a solid bedtime routine you’re going to follow every single night. Turn off all your electronics. You really don’t need to answer the boss’ email at 3 AM. The boss can wait until you get into work tomorrow, we promise. Watch TV before you start your ritual, but turn it off after. Speaking of TV, you might need to let your TIVO do a bit of work…we all say we don’t have time to sleep, but most of us probably watch the same 4 hours of television every night as every other guy on our street. If you want to save yourself from the zombie curse, you’re going to have to save some of those shows for the weekend. Better yet, pick a few shows you really like and stick to those instead of trying to watch every last thing on every last channel. Life’s too short to be a fat, sick, grumpy sex-deprived road menace just because you want to zone out on sitcoms till 1 AM every night.  

Next, think about taking a long hot Epsom salt bath. Bath salts are proven to help get you relaxed and feeling fantastic before you sleep. Get a manly scent you love (any ManSalt variety will make you smell amazing plus we've supercharged the Epsom with vitamins and a variety of other beneficial salts) and just give yourself a chance to Zen out in the tub. Your muscles will thank you, your brain will thank you.

Then dry off, brush your teeth, and hop into bed in whatever you do or don’t wear. Make sure you do this at the same time every night. The repetition and routine tell your body, “I’m going to sleep now.” In time, sticking to this routine will help you combat any insomnia you may normally experience. Eventually, you’ll be able to fall asleep on command, and you’ll have what it takes to start winning at every area of your life again.