DO NOT do what I just did for 2 weeks. It was a terrible idea. I’m hoping you learn from my mistake and avoid the same pitfall.
What did I do?
I went for a little over 2 weeks on very little sleep, and thought it would all be ok. I thought I was Wonder Woman and could live completely fine off of 5 hours of sleep each night, at most. Who needed sleep anyways? I was inspired, on a mission, and driven by a fire inside me that couldn’t be put out.
Boy was I VERY, very wrong.
To be honest, I thought I was on the right track during those two weeks. I thought (even after years of trying to help friends understand that sleep and exercise directly influences happiness) that I might be the exception to the rule. I actually started to believe that sleep wasn’t really what I needed. I was spending more and more time on things I that took energy and time, and I was choosing those things over sleep. I chose to wake up early and meditate, make more dinners or organic side dishes, involve myself on social media, blog more often, join more networks, coach more people ‘on the side’, read and listen to more self-development books, and exercise before or after it all.
I made the wrong choices for my health.
You see, there were negative side effects of these choices. Side effects that I refused to admit were tied to sleep… until I got enough of it last night.
What happened? I started being less productive at work, and I had trouble focusing. I forgot appointment times and commitments I had made. I misplaced my wallet and diaper bag. My ability to be truly impactful and influential at work dwindled. It took me longer to write a blog post or even an email. I cried easily over things that went wrong. I got a cold, and now I think I have a sinus infection. I developed some raging headaches. I had to start telling people, “Sorry- I’m not on my game this week.”
I don’t know about you, but I don’t enjoy being that version of myself.
It made my brain feel similar to how it had felt on maternity leave with a new infant. And that was it. AH HA! That was the lightbulb that finally woke me from my crazed state of dimentia.
It reminded me of maternity leave because I was barely sleeping.
Last night, I gave into a huge headache and started doing the math on my sleep deprivation mistake. I put myself to bed and got a full 7.5 hours of sleep.
Today, my mindset and presence has been completely different. I have been productive, happy, healthy, and more. I am able to handle mishaps while looking forward with a better perspective.
I was at a maximum stress point. Instead of taking one more action…I stopped and slept on it.
I’m also listening to a new book: “Brain Rules” by John Medina. The second rule in his book, which focuses on how to help ourselves by getting our brain to work FOR us, is to GET ENOUGH SLEEP.
By getting enough sleep, you increase your productivity during the day (really!), allow creativity to flourish, increase your ability to learn, recover from injuries faster, allow your body to lose the weight you’ve been holding on to (no joke), nurture your body and circulatory systems, and foster many more amazing things within your body. These facts are ALL based on research- I promise you.
Don’t make my mistake. Learn from my stupid move, and be a better person.
DON’T go another night without sleeping enough- or at least attempting to sleep enough. Be kind to your body, your brain, and your soul. And if you need to, just treat yourself like a sleep deprived angry toddler, and put your ass to bed. We all know by the time you’ve made it to that stage, sleep is the only thing that will help.