“Sleep? Sleep is part of your plan?” My friend stared at me, half incredulous, as if a mom could ever have enough sleep. Granted, my youngest are turning 12 Saturday, so sleep is a bit easier to come by at this point, but even if they were younger I would demand my sleep. Especially knowing what I know now.
For example: I know that my work is not it’s best when I’m lacking in sleep. That includes teaching, editing, writing… and most importantly… parenting. My patience is non-existent and I tell at the boys a lot more than when I get my solid 8-9 hours per night. I used to burn the midnight oil, writing and editing until midnight and 1am, just trying to get everything done before printer deadlines. Now, I start a few weeks earlier instead of procrastinating and not only do I still get the work done, but I do a much better job…and get more sleep.
Studies show that sleep deprivation affects women more than men. Our bodies need rest to recharge and by denying it the very thing it needs to recharge, we are damaging our health, both mental and physical. My husband can’t seem to sleep more than 6-7 hours at night. Me? I’m out for a minimum of 8 most nights. Seems that sometimes the scientists aren’t wrong.
So when I say that sleep is part of my plan, here’s what I mean:
- I plan for 8-9 hours of sleep per night. Unless there is a great need for me to be up uber-early, I generally hit the rack around 10 and sleep until 6 or 7am. When my kids were younger, I would often nap when they did, but not always.
- I also try to make sure the boys are in bed some time around 10 so they can have their 9-10 hours of sleep. Dang kids. I wish I could sleep 10 hours…
- I budget my waking time so that the most important things get done first. Is it important and quick? It’s first. When you get lots of quick and important things done, you feel success and that success helps feed the desire to do more.
- I constantly remind myself there are only 1440 minutes in a day, and while I would love to skip some of the minutes I spend sleeping, I can’t. And I can’t because without enough rest I am not as effective, often taking twice as long to finish a task as it would have, had I gotten enough sleep. You can also add cranky to the list of what happens when I don’t sleep enough, although cranky is probably an understatement…if what my family has to say about it is even remotely accurate.
Do you get enough sleep? What do you notice when you don’t get enough?