Who hasn’t been guilty of saying “I don’t need that much sleep to function everyday”? You aren’t the only one. I used to be one of these people too. During college, I undermined the importance of sleeping and resting well and enough. I used to say, “My body can function with 4-5 hours of sleep,” and while that might’ve been and could still be true, I’ve come to understand the importance of a good night of sleep and how it plays an essential role in my everyday actions and performances.
When I was studying abroad in Hong Kong, I barely slept. I used to keep a sleeping regime of around 5 hours every day, so I can spend and enjoy more time with friends hanging out, partying, and traveling. While I’m not super proud of this sleeping pattern and wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, I’m proud that I did it for this year of my life and that I learned so much more about how my body functions.
I still say that my body can function with 5-6 hours of sleep, but will it function at its best – creatively, efficiently, and effectively? I would say no. I’ve learned that my body needs more than 6 hours of sleep to fully recover and perform at its best everyday at work, training, and fundamentally as a human being.
Don’t get me wrong. I like hustling and working my ass off everyday, but I’ve understood the importance health plays day in and day out in what I do. One way I’ve been tracking my sleep for the past 18 months is with my Fitbit Flex. I love data, enjoy finding insights and understanding how I can improve patterns in my daily life – [Fitbit didn’t pay me for this shameless advertisement, but wish it did]. You can see in the image above how serious I’ve been about sleeping lately – I’m pretty proud of this haha 🙂
Anyways, take sleep seriously, so your body, mind and health take you seriously too. We are human beings before everything else.
Check out in this interview how Jason Fried, CEO and Co-founder of Basecamp – formerly 37signals, highlights the importance of sleeping well and enough – minute 14:50 and minute 21:25.