SLEEP & REST

SLEEP

Tyrell; “The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long – and you have burned so very, very brightly, Roy. Look at you: you’re the Prodigal Son; you’re quite a prize!

Roy; “I’ve done… questionable things.

Tyrell; “Also extraordinary things; revel in your time.

Bladerunner

Sleep, rest, time-off, a change is as good as a rest, relaxation, holiday, vacation, a short break…

The above phrases and words all amount to one thing and all of us will think of them as in relation to work activity as time not spent working.

As the quote goes Roy (an android in the film) has lived a life that’s full and bright but it is shortened. Roy is coming to the end of his time. And so it is in our life, those of us who seek out challenges, seek out the extreme, seek out the opportunity for success at each and every turn will burn out, we have to appreciate our bodies.

Our bodies are our primary asset and so the most important thing to look after in our search for contentment and success. Sleep is the restorative process we should all experience at the end of each day. Time-off is what we should schedule to give ourselves the longer break we all need from time to time.

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The two most important things you can do to remain healthy and focused is exercise and sleep, this is a fact!

Benefits of Sleep;

  1. You will be happier, even on those days when you’ve got an impossibly tight dead-line to keep to you will be happier and consequently more likely to achieve.
  2. You will build more muscle mass. Through the night your body uses the time to heal damaged tissue, during the early part of your sleep and during the slow-wave part of your sleep pattern the body release growth hormones. Lack of sleep by contrast is linked to muscle atrophy.
  3. You will find learning easier, short-term memory is improved when rested. Sleep in children is proven to give at least a 2% improvement on academic performance. Doesn’t sound so much? Well add all those 2%’s up over several years and just see where that one goes, Yr 1; 2%, Yr 2; 4%, Yr 3; 6%… and so it goes.
  4. Your driving will be better, this is to do with response times.
  5. Staying within your allotted calorie intake is easier when you get enough sleep. Sleep acts to suppress appetite and so you will stay at a healthier weight much easier.
  6. Your mental wellbeing is more assured. Those people who sleep enough are less likely to suffer depression and anxiety issues.
  7. Your financial decision making skills are much keener when rested properly.
  8. People who get enough sleep find it easier to speak more clearly and so find themselves understood better.
  9. You are better at coping with distractions if well rested meaning you’ll be more productive.
  10. You will have better reactions if you rest well.

There are of course many more benefits to sleep, too many to list here but these are just some of the known benefits.

Longer term rest or vacations also provide for long-term health benefits including stress relief, improved mental agility and skills, improved physical health and improved social and family ties. These are very similar to sleep but non-the-less important to state as separate benefits to sleep.

Those who honestly think that success is linked in some way to constant, persistent and prolonged work with short hours of sleep and no vacations are kidding themselves that they will be able to keep it up. They will fail, it’s a simple fact. You have to plan to sleep, you have to plan for time off, away from the job.

If you are so central to the success of your project or job then you are a single point of failure just waiting to happen. Just imagine you were to win big on the lottery (it could happen) or a serious illness befell you and in either case you couldn’t or wouldn’t go back to work. Disaster. You have got to plan for your absence, be it long term or just a short holiday. You should never be indispensable, if you do find yourself in that position, do something about it.

In addition to this if you are then not allowing in your planning for time off or rest time generally and you are frequently finding yourself in work mode unable to detach then you are almost inevitably heading towards burn-out. You may well be shining but this will be shot-lived. It may last for a few years, and you may not believe it will happen to you but it will. And it will at time when it’s most inconvenient.

FINNA logic; take stock, build-in redundancy to your job role by encouraging others to do what you do, make sure you sleep (without the aid of chemicals or alcohol) and take a break from time to time.

You will benefit.

Your organisation will benefit.

Your colleagues will benefit.

Your family will benefit.

Your social life will benefit.

It will move you closer to realising your dreams and ambitions.

Thank you for reading.

Philip

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