The first in a series of posts about sleep, while co-founder Sabina begins her new mission to sleep 7-8 hours a night.
When I sat down to write this post the first time, on a Friday evening, I literally fell asleep on the couch with my laptop on my lap, which I took as a sign that I needed to go straight to bed and finish it up later. The fact that I was writing a post about sleep, or the lack of it more specifically, did not escape me. The truth is, I’ve always been one of those people who has insisted to her (physician) father, that the “eight hours of sleep” rule didn’t apply to her. By the end of college I’d mastered the handling of late night studying sessions that left me with five hours to sleep before the day began again. It wasn’t a daily occurrence and it didn’t seem to phase me, so I never paid it much mind.
Fast forward one decade and I found myself a few years into the entrepreneurial lifestyle that one can only “get” by experiencing it: you learn to pull all nighters (especially at the beginning or during “busy season”), you wear many hats, you check your email on your smartphone when you wake up in the middle of the night “just in case”, and because of all the hats you wear, seven or eight hours of sleep begins to sound like some sort distant memory or make believe world others talk about. “What is this land you speak of where people get enough rest, are able to shut off on weekends or holidays and find time to go to the gym before getting into work?” That was the thought that has been running through my head for years….until now.
Over the past few months I’ve watched people close to me in work and personal circles start to feel and exhibit the physical, emotional and professional effects of pushing themselves too hard and not allowing themselves enough sleep. Whereas I used to laugh off my dad’s lectures about needing a good night’s rest, his talking points now began to echo in my head. “Sleep is the time your body is able to heal itself”. “Sleeping enough is one of the keys to living longer.” “When you show up at home for a long weekend after pulling an all nighter in order to spend quality time with us, nobody gets your ‘quality side’”.
Perhaps it’s only now that I’m noticing and acknowledging it or perhaps all of us busy workers are realizing this, discussing it and deciding to do something about it more and more because it feels like everywhere I turn, my peers or the media are talking about the need for sleep. The truth is, I’ve decided not to ignore my obvious lack of sleep anymore and I don’t think you should either. I’ve decided that despite I think I need that one to two hours at night or early in the morning to work, connect, “decompress” or whatever else it is I need to do, I’m only doing it if I’m still going to get enough sleep. Though my goal is eight hours a night, I’m going to let myself off of the book with seven – I’m just being honest with you here. Some nights a girl is just spinning too many plates or on too good a roll and she cannot stop, and I’m going to accept that.
What I will no longer accept is my own lack of courtesy for my body, brain and soul that lack of sleep truly is. I will accept the fact that to be the best businesswoman, entrepreneur, leader, friend and woman I can be, I need to be healthy and happy, and a large part of my being happy and healthy depends on sleep. There is no denying it, and you don’t have to take MY word for it, as I’ve compiled some of my favorite articles below about WHY you should be getting enough sleep for you to read before bed.
Now sweet (early) dreams when you hit the hay tonight! I mean it!
NOT SLEEPING EIGHT HOURS A NIGHT? SHAME ON YOU, READ HERE!
Why Eight Hours of Sleep Makes You Fearless -
In this amazing Huffington Post piece, writer, life coach and what I shall dub a “sleep “crusader Terri Cole talks about how a lack of sleep can lead to anxiety and fear (something you do not need any extra of as an entrepreneur). This should give you extra inspiration to get that sleep – it sure did it for me!
Tips and a Video (USEFUL tips) on How to Get More Sleep -
Another must read from my new favorite sleep crusader Terri Cole.
Top Ten Surprising Effects Caused by Lack of Sleep Causes
Perhaps you’re a WebMD addict like me, if so you may have read this already. If not give yourself a few minutes to glance at this list. Hopefully some will shock you into an earlier bedtime tonight and every night! These results make me think “why even tempt fate?” It’s simply way too easy to avoid these effects by getting some sweet, relaxing, free sleep.
CNN & Forbes Break Down what Lack of Sleep can do to Your Business -
If I didn’t have you at “this is unhealthy for your body” then how about “this is unhealthy for your business”? Your pushing yourself could be having adverse effects on your performance!
Wikipedia Breaks Down the Effects of Lack of Sleep (Hint: it makes you gain weight too!) -
Still not convinced? How about this: lack of sleep causes weight gain, temper tantrums, malaise, puffiness and more. None of the effects are sexy, trust me.
Washington Post Discusses what Science Shows Lack of Sleep Does to the Body -
Need I Say More? The SCIENTISTS are telling you sleep. Trust them.