When I talk with friends and meet readers in person, we always tend to discuss how to balance it all. It’s something that we all try to conquer and I’m always pretty candid with my answer. My secret is not a secret at all. The one thing that keeps me fueled throughout the day is getting more sleep.
Let’s be clear: the whole “sleep when you’re dead” bit is ridiculous.
I “grind.” I hustle. But only because I sleep. As someone who prides themselves on being productive and maximizing their time, I am always most productive when I get a good night’s rest. I know. It doesn’t sound cool. It doesn’t sound trendy. But it is effective.
Everyone’s different. Some of us need 6 hours of sleep and there’s some of us who need 8 hours of sleep to be alert, aware and productive. I need 7-8 hours to not be groggy or running on fumes. I also notice that I work well early in the morning, so that means hanging it up earlier the majority of the week. Some days are better than others, but I usually get in the bed by 10:30p and get up between 5:30-6a.
And here’s the other thing about sleep, it doesn’t just feel good, it does good. It makes us functional in three different ways to help stay productive.
SLEEP HELPS THE BRAIN
It’s interesting, because we sleep for 1/3 of our lives. (That’s a lot!) But it’s necessary because when we don’t sleep enough we lack coordination, concentration and our mood totally suffers.
However, when you do get sufficient sleep it strengthens your memory and enhances creative thinking. This is certainly important in my line of work since I use storytelling and visuals to create content. I don’t feel scatterbrained when I sleep enough either.
You know those days when you’re trying to 11 things at once and end up doing nothing? Yeah, that always happens to me when I am exhausted.
And even when we are sleeping, our brain is still “on” cementing memories and clearing out toxins.
SLEEP HELPS STRESS
Lack of sleep has been linked to a number of issues including depression, heart issues and even, obesity. And according to some studies it’s even linked to job loss due to poor performance because of fatigue. It doesn’t get more stressful than bad health and losing your job.
In my own personal experience, I’m much more calm and centered when I do get those 7-8 hours. I don’t feel rushed and move throughout my day confidently. It allows me to be present during simple things like eating a meal, making a phone call or even writing a quick email.
Think about how many times you’ve tried to do those things on minimal sleep and how often you start scrolling on your phone, remembering to do something else or just staring off. It never feels good, because it feels like you’re not in control. And you’re not, your lack of sleep is.
SLEEP HELPS CREATIVITY
As an entrepreneur this is why I value you sleep so much. As someone who post content daily – both written and verbal – I need all the creative juices I can get. When I sleep sound at night, it’s like my days are full of new ideas that I actually execute. I feel confident enough to plan ahead, prep accordingly and produce consistently. There is no better feeling.
When haven’t gotten the sleep you need, you lack divergent thinking – the kind of thinking that relies on imagination and thinking outside of the box. As someone who has to be interesting for a living, divergent thinking is pretty much the lifeline of my creative process. I cannot afford to lose that. Every time I do, I turn the switch back on and jump in the bed as soon as I can.
So yes, sleeping feels good and doing it often os sometimes linked to “being lazy.” But for me, when I need to be my most productive, I make sure I get 7-8 hours of sleep daily.
This post was sponsored by it bed by Sleep Number. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks so much for supporting the brands that support the site!