Lately I’ve been averaging around 8.5 hours of sleep a night and it’s been pretty glorious. This much sleep mainly happens because things slow down for me in the summer and I’m able to adapt my schedule to the way my natural rhythms are- I love to go to sleep around 1:30am and wake up around 10. I actually enjoy having a more leisurely morning and then really getting going on work later in the day and into the night. That works great for me. However, this schedule doesn’t go well with the structure of society today.
Not only is our society not for night owls, it’s also not for sleeping ‘extra’ hours. Today, you’re considered a ‘hero’ for sleeping less and working more. You can brag to all your ‘lazier’ friends about being so busy you had no time to sleep. Workaholism is an esteemed trait nowadays. Yet, I wonder if we might be able to do better work and bring better creations to the world if we’re better rested.
Lately, more and more awareness about the value of sleep seems to be coming to light. Arianna Huffington recently wrote about our sleep deprivation culture in her book The Sleep Revolution. I have not yet read it but I really want to. Just the other day, a blogger and thought leader that I really like, Marie Forleo, sent an email newsletter about the book including an interview with Arianna Huffington. Then, a bit later, a friend of mine forwarded me that same newsletter- so the importance of sleep has been a recurring theme lately.
Here’s a quote from the summary of the book on Amazon:
“In The Sleep Revolution, Arianna shows how our cultural dismissal of sleep as time wasted compromises our health and our decision-making and undermines our work lives, our personal lives — and even our sex lives. She explores all the latest science on what exactly is going on while we sleep and dream. She takes on the dangerous sleeping pill industry, and all the ways our addiction to technology disrupts our sleep. She also offers a range of recommendations and tips from leading scientists on how we can get better and more restorative sleep, and harness its incredible power.”
I’ll write more reminders on the importance of sleep in future blogposts because I know that our busy world can get in the way of us ever prioritizing having a long, restful night. When you can, try to congratulate yourself when you get more sleep and not yell at yourself for it. You’re benefitting everything else you do by sleeping more! And of course, don’t beat yourself up if you’re at a time in your life when you can’t get the amount of sleep you desire. After all, it’s not worth losing sleep over!