Sleep is a major component of fitness. The one we are most likely to push aside and forget, kind of like water.
When we don’t get enough sleep, however, it makes us more vulnerable to illness, accidents, irritability, conflict, and depression. We have less energy and even think less clearly when we constantly get less sleep than we need. Making up for this by sleeping in or napping over the week-end only partially solves the problem.
We all know this. But the fact remains that a good night’s sleep is a hard thing to find. It can be compared to the end of the rainbow or winning the lottery for some of us.
Why Don’t We Sleep?
When it comes to time or sleep, time seems to win. Americans have ample reasons to cheat at sleep. We are a time-starved, do-more society!
We cheat sleep to give us more time, of course. Time to do more at work, time to do more for others, time to have more fun, or just a little time to be alone, a valuable commodity when you have a family.
Sometimes we cheat sleep so we can lay awake and worry for an hour or two in the middle of the night.
Try a Time Trade-Out.
Try setting up a trade system with yourself to get the sleep you need. Begin by making a list of everything you do from the time you leave work until you finally crawl into bed and turn off the lights.
Now do this for morning. Keep the same list for everything you do from the time you wake up until you close the car door to go to work.
Keep your list every night and every morning for at least two weeks. Don’t think about it, just do it.
You should have an idea of how you spend your time now. This will enable you to shift some of that time into sleep time.
The first week eliminate one or maybe two activities from your night list. Trade them for time at night by moving them until tomorrow or the weekend or eliminating them altogether. By excluding one or two activities, you might gain 15 to 30 minutes more sleep.