Every time I see the topic of sleep come up, the topic of laziness is just around the corner. People have come to believe that sleeping is laziness.
Rarely will you find people who know that sleep is rest. And as far as I know, everyone needs rest. Even the Bible says God rested.
If God rests, who are you to think you don’t need it? What will come to your mind when you hear someone say ‘I love sleeping?’
Most probably, you will think the person is lazy. But that is not necessarily the case. Loving sleep is bad but we should treasure and enjoy sleep.
Some people say they love sleep when actually they mean they treasure sleep. The most important thing is that you be in control of your sleep.
Let it not dominate you.
Work and Rest
I am not a doctor but I have come to realize that I need so much rest for me to function at my optimum levels.
It is almost a 50/50 share between work and rest. Out of the 24 hours in a day, I spend at least 12 hours resting.
Not necessarily sleeping but just resting. Of course a big chunk of resting is sleeping. If you want to be productive, you must get a good balance of work and rest.
Working many hours does not necessarily mean you are productive. What takes a sleepy man four hours to accomplish may only take 30 minutes if the person is sober.
In fact, a sober person can spend one hour to work on a project and rest for two hours while a sleepy person takes three hours to do the same task without getting rest.
A certain proverb says ‘one bird in your hand is better than two on a tree.’ Instead of trying to beat sleep by working for long hours, divide your time so that you work part of it and use the remaining to rest.
I read a certain blog that was talking about morning routines of some of the richest people in the world. One notable thing was their time of waking up.
Related Article: Guard your Mornings Jealously [Have a Morning Routine]
While some of them had a fixed time to wake up, others said they wake up ‘naturally’. That is they sleep until their bodies wake them up.
I also read a book about sleep called sleep smarter and it mentioned a concept called sleep cycles. According to the book, one sleep cycle takes about 90 minutes.
The author said it is important for us to get at least four sleep cycles per night. That is at least six hours of sleep.
A sleep cycle is simply explained as the cycle through which our bodies go through to replenish used up resources.
The body treats itself and repairs all worn out parts. Waking up in the middle of a sleep cycle can make you feel a lot more tired than you went to sleep.
Have you ever woken up and you feel a lot more tired than you went to bed? Chances are you woke up in the middle of a sleep cycle.
According to that book, we should sleep a minimum of 6 hours. If you want more, go for 7 hours 30 minutes or 9 hours.
That way, you will reduce the chances of waking up in the middle of a sleep cycle. But the best way to get the timing right is to let your body wake you up once it is done with repairing whatever it was repairing.
Most of the times I have woken up by setting a fixed time, I struggled to get out of bed. I also felt tired on average than on days that I wake up naturally.
From experience, I have come to see that my body is fully rested slightly past eight and a half hours. That is when I will wake up naturally.
It is important to note that the hours my body needs to rest vary from day to day. On days I have strained a lot, I sleep for longer.
I have had days that I slept for almost 11 hours. That seems a lot but I believe my body knows better than I do.
Having a fixed amount of time to sleep may not be a good idea. On some days, the time allocated for sleep may be sufficient while on others it may be too little.
Let your body do what it does best. You may set the upper limit that you don’t want to exceed.
In my schedule, I have allocated 9 hours of sleep. Sometimes I spend less other times a little more but I find it to be a good average.
We Can’t Cheat our Bodies
Sometime back, I tried to be clever by tricking my body into believing I had given it enough rest. My body didn’t get fooled.
I woke up two hours earlier than usual hoping to spend a lot more time working. The result was far from my expectation.
Three hours after waking up, I was still struggling to cheer myself up. I had not even begun my first assignment of the day.
Five hours after waking up, it became clear that I was too dull to do anything that day. My motivation levels were at zero.
I went back to sleep for two hours. When I woke up, my body responded. I finally did the work I had set for that day though not completely since I had wasted so much time.
Since that day, I always do my best to allow my body to have sufficient rest. Trying to cheat our bodies into working overtime is a waste of time.
The Importance of Having Sufficient Sleep
We get many benefits when we allow our bodies to get sufficient sleep. But since I am not a doctor, I will tell you the basic benefits that I know.
A Good Mood
Anytime I have cut short my sleep, I struggled with cheering myself during the day. Somehow, sufficient sleep makes it easy for us to be in a good mood.
I believe this is true since sleep is an urge just as hunger. Whenever someone is hungry, their countenance falls. There is even a proverb that says ‘A hungry man is an angry man’.
Insufficient sleep causes the same effect to our mood. Any day you feel you are in a bad mood and you can’t figure out the cause, chances are that you didn’t get enough sleep.
The book sleep smarter has more details on how to set up your room to give you the best environment for sleep.
You can get it in the books section of this blog.
It is obvious that sufficient sleep makes you attentive. That means you can do a lot more in less time and you will do it with greater accuracy.
Time and again I see people who do the opposite. Instead of taking good time to rest, they spend more time working but they are so inefficient that it takes them almost double the time to finish the same work.
Anytime you feel drowsy, stop working and go get some sleep. It is the best thing to do no matter how urgent your task is.
If you get sufficient sleep and fail to finish your work, you will at least have the attentiveness to explain your situation to your boss.
We all lose attention after sometime. It is not a secret. Don’t be ashamed to say you were tired and you needed sleep.
High Energy Levels
Most of these benefits overlap. A good mood comes with high energy. You don’t need coffee in the morning to cheer you up.
If you give your body sufficient sleep, it will cheer up automatically. With the high energy levels you will be able to do work productively.
Be Proud of Long Hours of Sleep
Many people find pride in sleeping few hours. Anyone who says they sleep for long is seen as lazy. But after trying it time and again, sleeping for as long as your body requires is the best.
Therefore, don’t be ashamed to sleep a little longer if your body asks for it. The most important thing is that you be more productive.
Sleep longer, wake up and do more work. Wisdom is perceived as foolishness in the eyes of fools. Cheers!