Sleep. Babies do it all the time. It’s what allows their bodies to grow and develop at an astonishing rate. It allows the brain to process and the body to heal. Yet, many of us – myself especially – seem to neglect getting enough of it as we get older.
The excuses? Work deadlines. Hanging out with friends. Watching movies. Finding all the hidden star coins in the latest Super Mario game. Writing blog posts … I’m guilty of all of these. And more!
But is it really worth losing sleep over such trivial things (excluding, of course, tight deadlines for work – assuming it’s not a regular occurrence)?
I started thinking about this after my Mom shared a part of an article she was reading over the weekend. It was about sleep deprivation and the effect it has on our ability to function physically and socially day by day. I don’t recall all the specifics (probably because I was too tired at the time to fully listen), but here’s the gist: Adults who sleep under 6 hours on average every night will (not surprisingly) have trouble functioning – similar to being drunk, only without the alcohol and lasting all day. What’s more, after a while of not getting enough sleep, such people will not even be able to tell that they are performing at a sub-optimal level. In other words, decreased reaction time, hampered coordination, and slower thinking due to sleep deprivation will start to feel normal.
Sounds like it should be obvious, right? Then why do so many people like myself continue to snub the need to sleep? Just imagine: what if we all slept at least 8 hours every night like we’re supposed to? We might just be more efficient – getting more done in a smaller amount of time because we can think faster, move quicker, remember more, and stay focused on the task at hand. Then there would be no need to stay up late, because we would have accomplished everything important for the day already.
But it’s a theory worth testing. And one good way for me to begin testing this on myself is to stop writing and get ready for bed.
God bless, and good night!