Friday, May 24, 2013

getting enough sleep can make you feel like a superhero

getting enough sleep can make you feel like a superhero


Let's talk about sleep. Better yet, lack of sleep. Or, more to the point, exhaustion. I learned this week just how close to exhaustion I am most of the time, and it was quite an awakening. (yeah, that's a terrible pun.)



I have plenty of excuses for not sleeping enough - work, kids, hobbies, exercise, household chores, writing a blog - but they're not much different from the same excuses everyone has. We're all busy, and we make choices to do the things we feel obligated to do, or to relax and watch mindless television, rather than sleeping.

My body prefers getting 7.5 hours of sleep each night, but I rarely get that much. This means I run a little sleep deficit each day, which builds up as the week progresses, so that by Thursday and Friday I don't have as much pep, or focus, as I should. Then I count on getting some extra sleep on the weekends, just to recharge and get myself back to "normal."

Well, last week was brutal. We had a lot on our plates, and I didn't get more than 6 hours of sleep once. As expected, I was run down by Friday. Unfortunately the weekend wasn't any better, and a full night's sleep wasn't in the cards. By the time I got to Sunday, I was completely fried. Tired, sore, impatient, frustrated - just plain miserable, and not a lot of fun to be around. I knew I needed sleep, and not just one night's good rest, so I made a concerted effort to get more sleep over the next few days.

I slept 8.5 hours Sunday night, and Monday night I logged another 8 hours. Tuesday night I got a little over 7, and then I got a full 8 hours again on Wednesday night. Then it hit me:

When I woke up on Thursday morning, I felt great. Not just good, but great - Superman great. No ailments or cobwebs. Nothing but physical energy and mental clarity. This is how Peter Parker must have felt after getting bitten by a spider! Throughout the day I felt a surge of energy - I could easily handle whatever the day might throw my way, and follow it up with an awesome workout to boot.


The whole sleep-experience of the last two weeks made me realize I haven't put nearly enough emphasis on how important sleep is as part of a healthy lifestyle.

For me, personally, 8 hours of sleep every night is unrealistic. Nighttime, after the kids are asleep, is when I can get some work done, or focus on the family admin tasks. Or, on other nights, it's the only quality time my wife and I get to spend together. All of these are important, and worth giving up some sleep for. But, after what I experienced this week, getting enough sleep has moved up on my priorities list!

-Chris Butterworth

Related Post: 13 thoughts on getting a better night's sleep

images: 1.) Microsoft clipart. 2.) Man of Steel movie poster, by Warner Bros  (2013)

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