So picture this scenario: I’d be chilling on Friday night with some friends, downing a couple of beers and having an awesome time, and all of a sudden something would snap and I’d feel freakin’ exhausted.
My eyes would glaze over and I’d get really quiet and my friends will all start asking if I’m drunk. But I’m not drunk – I’m just sleepy. This scenario plays out every weekend and usually happens around 11.30pm. Yeah, I know, I’m a total wuss.
I suspect that this happens because I don’t get enough sleep during the week. I spend a lot of late nights working on stuff for CheerfulEgg, with a couple of extra hours wasted on Facebook and YouTube watching stupid videos of cute puppies (C’mon, be honest – you’ve succumbed to those cute little bastards too).
The Hidden Benefits of Sleep
Sleep. It’s totally something that most of us young, awesome people need way more of, isn’t it? In fact, there’s a whole body of research showing that sleep doesn’t just help you to feel less tired, it has a whole host of other benefits as well. Research shows that more sleep can help you to:
- Improve memory
- Live longer
- Curb inflammation
- Spur creativity
- Be a winner
- Improve your grades
- Sharpen attention
- Lose more fat
- Lower stress
- Avoid accidents
- Steer clear of depression
I’ve experienced the benefits of more sleep during my first LifeTest of avoiding coffee for 14 days. With at least 6.5 hours of sleep the night before, I felt a lot more alert, productive, and generally awesome throughout the day – even without coffee.
Sleep = The Secret Sauce For Personal Capital?
I’m suspecting that sleep could be a powerful catalyst in our quest to increase our personal capital. Think about it: With more sleep, we’d have better focus, more sustainable energy, and consequently be able to accomplish much more at work and in personal projects.
That’s why, starting this week, I’m starting a LifeTest to see if having consistently more sleep could have a disproportionate effect in my life. Sure, a full night’s sleep would help me be awesome the following morning, but eventually fatigue would catch up with me and I’d be exhausted by the end of the day. But what if I could be consistently well-rested for several days at a stretch? Would I feel dramatically better? Be more productive and clear-headed? Be able to network and socialize better with friends and colleagues? It’s definitely worth a try.
So, starting tonight, I’m going to challenge myself to get at least seven hours of sleep every night, for 7 consecutive nights. If I don’t meet the target for a single night, I’ll restart the challenge all over again. I’m restricting this LifeTest to just 7 days because I’ll be heading to Spain in 2 weeks, which will screw up my sleep cycle anyway. So I figure that I should just keep this LifeTest short, and see if I can publish some of my findings before I leave for vacation.
In order to meet the challenge from this LifeTest, I’ll have to figure out how to make certain adjustments. For example, I’ll probably have to leave earlier from work if I have a personal project to work on later at night. Facebook and YouTube will also have to be eliminated after 11pm, because they are huge time-wasters. Finally, I’ll have to find a way to be physically be in bed 10 minutes before the clock starts, in order for me to ease properly into sleep. We’ll see how it pans out in the 7 days to come.
LifeTest Log #2