Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lack of sleep - Part two

I previously wrote about how lack of sleep can influence your creativity.

Since I've started to do some efforts to get more sleep, I've noticed additional benefits. Although I still struggle to set boundaries and end the day while I "still have so much things to do", I've been making progress. Here are 5 additional benefits of getting enough sleep.

1. More time during the weekends

I used to cut back on sleep during the week and then sleep in during the weekends, usually until noon. I'd end up unable to sleep on Sunday night, and start the week tired already. I now suddenly have the mornings of the weekend available as well, which I can use for work, or to go to the gym, or arrange some things in my house. It feels as if my weekend has become longer.

2. Performing better at work

I'm simply sharper, more able to focus and I have more power and energy to work in the lab. I'm not depending on coffee at all anymore - I've switched to an occasional cup of green tea and water for the rest of the day. Only when I'm having a snack with chocolate, I get coffee because I like the combination of the taste of chocolate and coffee. I don't need to fuel myself with caffeine to soldier through the day anymore.

3. Feeling less tempted to procrastinate

As a result of the previous, I can get through an entire afternoon of reading with only 2 or 3 random internet browsing sessions. That's quite an improvement for me!

4. Feeling more fit and healthy

Waking up after a decent night of sleep, helps me to feel fit from the start of the day. I've noticed that I have more energy since I am now biking faster uphill, performing better at the gym, carrying heavier objects in the lab and running up the stairs instead of taking the elevator.

5. Having the feeling of accomplishment

I'm still logging my bedtimes, and whenever I manage to log a time before 11pm (giving me 8 hours of sleep), I add a little smiley next to my time. In weeks during which I see 4 smileys, I feel I've made progress with my resolution. That gives me a sense of accomplishment, and boosts my self-esteem as I am taking myself and my resolution serious.

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