Sleep is not Overrated

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If I could only stop sleeping, I’d be so productive.

I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

Who has time to sleep?

Sleep is for the weak.

You lose so much time sleeping.

Our society seems to thrive on pushing its members hard. Work hard, play hard, party hard. Anything that takes time away from overindulging, overcompensating, or overdriving is somehow bad. Sleep is at the top of the list for a lot of these things.

But I’ve been going through a period where sleep is hard to come by, mostly due to my work schedule. A couple of days each week, I work a night shift. A couple more, I work a day shift. To get from one to the other, I work an afternoon shift. Rinse and repeat. Over-caffeinate to get through the night shifts and then not be able to fall asleep early enough for the day shifts so I have to over-caffeinate for those, too.

It sucks, and it’s hard, and it’s proven one key thing to me, if I hadn’t already figured it out: sleep is not overrated.

The day after I got 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep for the first time in about eight weeks, I was twice as productive at pretty much everything I turned my mind to. I wrote faster, moved faster, got more things done in less time, and had time left over to take care of things on the list that I’d been ignoring.

5-6 hours per night is enough to function, but it’s not enough to function well, not over the long term.

A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything. – Irish Proverb

Sleep is the best meditation. – Dalai Lama

We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep. – Shakespeare, The Tempest

Sweet dreams, and be well, everyone.

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