If you under-estimate the importance of a good night's sleep as I previously did, all I will say is that it is never too late to become a convert. For a number of years I neglected the importance of quality sleep. I do still, occasionally, experience bouts of insomnia where, in addition to not sleeping very much I also displaying anxiety around sleeping and a general apathy towards sleep. However, the difference now is that I know what I’m missing.
Acknowledging the importance of quality sleep to my all-round well-being, and taking efforts to improve my attitude feels like a wonderful breakthrough after many years in the dark. I realised that the majority of my anxiety around (not) sleeping came down to one thing: time. From feeling that there were not enough hours in the day to worrying about all the things in the day that had remained undone. Another factor that I believe to have played an important role was that even from an early age I had exhibited a reluctance to go to bed and get some sleep. I put this down to having a number of older brothers and sisters who were allowed later bed times. I obviously didn’t want to miss out on anything!
As our daily lives increasingly demand higher performance, this often translates as working more hours. Many of us may pursue the goal of aiming for less sleep, despite the fact (and most will generally agree) that less than optimum sleep has a negative impact on performance.
The three steps that I'll share in the next post have proven really useful to me as a means to take care of my sleep time. I don't admit to perfect sleep, or un-troubled sleep, but I do sleep a whole lot better. Others will have alternatives, but these are the essentials ones that have worked for me, and that I return to if I’m troubled by sleeplessness.