Sunday, November 2, 2014

The importance of sleep

Some say if you want to be successful, you need to sacrifice sleep to a certain extend. I have always questioned that, but it seems to be common practice among ambitioned young people. The reason why I doubt its necessity is that I don't believe that (waking) time is the limiting factor for prevailing in a competitive situation. And that is because the hours you try to reduce your sleep by are not much in relation to 24 hours.

Furthermore, most people don't work from sunrise to sunset. What it comes down to is knowing your priorities. The career guys probably work most of their time, but pay too little attention to their loved ones. Instead, they spend their evenings at the gym since they know how physical shape affects their motivation and work capacity. Or they just work until late, but get up very early to workout. The priorities are set: "I am more important than us".

This is a stereotype, of course. The situation may differ from case to case, but what all high achievers seem to have in common is their attitude towards sleep. Even if they take care of personal relationships, that is most likely made possible by sleeping less.

I wonder if this really is a smart approach. For me, achieving certain goals is not to be ranked higher than happiness. And having a good night's rest is essential for being in a pleasant mood. Just because you can't measure the difference in your life's quality when sleeping 9 hours instead of 6, it doesn't mean their is none. And of course you can measure it: The health benefits are scientifically proven. What I mean is that as long as you measurably achieve more during the day, it is difficult to trade that off against the risks of sleep deprivation.

This is where minimalist living comes into play. Creating a lifestyle of less enables you to pursue goals without suppressing primal needs of the body.

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