Scientists say sleep deprivation is similar to intoxication. When you’re dead tired, you’re basically drunk. When you pause to think about it for a moment, that makes a lot of sense.
Assuming you’re not already sleep deprived while reading this.
If you are drunk you can’t…
- Think straight
- Make good decisions
- Act mature
- Speak clearly
- Relate to loved ones
- Be patient with your kids
- Do good work
You can’t do any of these things if you’re running on the fumes of minimal sleep either.
But let’s be honest… Sleep isn’t always an option. The little rascals who share your DNA defy logic and reason regardless of the hour.
Your kids fight sleep until they crash. You stay up late to enjoy some entertainment or work uninterrupted until you crash.
Your kids wake up early feeling rested and rambunctious. You wake up tired and look for your coffee mug.
Your kids fight sleep until they crash… It’s a vicious cycle!
Keeping it real
For years I have survived on minimal sleep while trying to juggle work, family, fitness, and other duties as assigned. (Emphasis on trying)
Some days are better than others, but most mornings you can find me battling the blanket in a fight to the death. For the record, I usually win.
Waking up early isn’t easy. Especially when you don’t go to bed at a reasonable hour. But that’s the kicker.
The secret to getting up early and getting stuff done is to go to bed!
Let me ask you a question:
Regardless of the time of day or how many kids you have, are you more likely to be productive after 8 hours of sleep? or 8 hours of work?
Common sense compels the reasonable reader to confess they’re probably more productive after 8 hours of sleep.
The same goes for being patient with your kids, driving, decision-making, and discussions (or debates) with your spouse.
Stop lying to yourself
For whatever reason we romanticize the idea of the night owl and refuse the wisdom of rising early.
I’m guilty of it too! Last night I was up until 1:00 a.m. working on side projects and tried to wake up at 5:00 a.m. to go to the gym. (Again, emphasis on tried)
But do you remember the last time you got a full night of sleep? It might be a distant memory, but close your eyes for a moment and try to recall how it felt.
I don’t know about you, but when I get 7-8 hours of sleep I can pretty much walk through walls and outrun freight trains.
Why do we insist on fighting sleep like our kids?
Minus the tantrums of course.
Double dog dare
Part of the new morning routine I’m trying involves waking up early and completing a small set of simple tasks designed to prepare me for the day.
A byproduct of this experiment is that I’m going to bed earlier (on average, there are exceptions). It’s amazing how much easier it is to wake up early when you go to bed before 10:00 p.m.
Honestly, I am not a morning person. I do not like waking up early. I’d much rather stay up late and sleep in until 8:00 or 9:00 a.m.
Unfortunately, that schedule is not an option for most of us. We have jobs to get to and kids who wake up at ungodly hours.
Challenge: I dare you to go to bed as soon as possible after your kids. No TV, no work, no reading. Tuck the little cherubs into bed then brush your teeth and hit the sack.
Instead of trying to cram some productivity into the wee hours of the night, go to bed and get some rest. You’ll get more sleep and the hours you are awake will be more productive and fulfilling.
How many hours of sleep do you get on average? Are you a self-proclaimed morning or night person? When are you most productive? Share in the comments.
Build Your Digital Toolbox
Tired of trying to organize the chaos of work, life, and home? Get it sorted and remember everything with these tools.