It’s one of our most fundamental pastimes, as essential to our health and wellbeing as eating, catching enough sunshine and hugging people.
Even though we do the activity every night, we still look forward to it more often than not, and really feel the results if we don’t get enough.
History has focused upon sleep a lot, marking out people who didn’t do it much as odd or eccentric (think of the rumours about Margaret Thatcher, which suggested she only got four hours a night – people used that as political propaganda to imagine that she wasn’t quite human!).
We are supposed to get an average of eight hours sleep every night, but how many of us actually manage to hit that target?
The problem these days seems to be that we all want to do so much.
After a long day plugging away at your blog and running your business, you want to settle down and enjoy your evening – have a great meal, watch a film, or just spend time with the family before going to bed.
Sometimes, fitting everything in (the shopping, housework, writing and hobbies) can make it impossible to get to bed at a decent hour, leaving us tired and frazzled for the following day.
You Do Have Time…
I think getting enough sleep has to come down to prioritizing what we want out of our day.
Work is pretty much non-negotiable, because we need to make sure that we get enough done, and put enough time in, to do a great job and run our company successfully.
However, most of us are guilty of letting work creep in to our evening hours, which means that we will compromise sleep in an attempt to have some fun at the end of the day.
We need sleep.
Sleep deprivation is one of the oldest and most effective forms of torture, leaving the victims close to madness if they aren’t allowed to let their bodies recharge.
When we sleep, our brains get a chance to process everything which has been going on during the day, filing it away, rationalizing things, and finding solutions to problems. Without it, we end up weary, stressed and a little bit unbalanced. There is nothing more lovely than climbing in to bed when we are exhausted, letting that delicious oblivion claim us for a few hours.
Sleep is NOT a waste of time…
Thomas Edison the inventor famously said that sleeping was a waste of time, and in many ways that is true – we don’t achieve anything tangible by snoring our way through the night.
However, without a decent sleep, we actually don’t achieve anything during the day either, which just goes to show that sleeping is an investment which we make of our time, to make the rest of our waking hours more productive and fulfilling.
The BBC have reported* that lack of sleep may be the reason behind some key global disasters including Chernobyl, as people stopped functioning properly.
Going without sleep for 17 hours makes the human body suffer from effects similar to drinking too much wine – grogginess, confused thoughts, and a real lack of concentration.
So, the next time you neglect sleeping in favour of work, remember that you can’t do one without the other. You will be a more successful business owner and blogger if you give your body what it needs to do a great job, and invest in your sleep just as you invest in your business each day.
How much sleep do you get and how much do you need to function properly?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.