The picture above is proof that I love cats and I also love sleeping. So this week I want to talk about sleep (I can talk about cats anytime).
We all need sleep and we need it every day. I take sleep to be just as important as food in terms of its importance to survive. Indeed, they are in the same category of basic needs in Maslow’s hierarchy. Despite its importance, though, sleep is usually the part of our daily life which we cut down on if something goes unexpected. Say, we need to finish some work on a particular day. If we normally sleep for 7 seven hours a day, we will sleep 5 hours that day. We do not cut down on food as much as we cut down on sleep (though some people may). We can hang out with our friends for longer than expected at night. But it is ok because we will just have to sleep a bit less so we can make it to work the next day. No big deal. I remember many times when I was asked to cut down on sleep so I could study more.
All this means that we do not value sleep as much as we should. One could say that the workplace is designed in such a way that we do have to sleep less at times. We do not have the option of going to work late because we needed sleep. But that only highlights the problem. We have time for food during lunch such that we have a lunch break but we do not make time for sleep in the workplace generally (there are some companies that are said to have a napping time).
I have had my fair share of the ‘sleep less if needed’ mentality. One of my life goals was to sleep less so I could do more. Then, I started experimenting. I was regularly sleeping for 5-6 hours a day. But somehow I felt tired often, not to mention sleepy. Then I tried 7 hours. Still the same. 8 hours. Just perfect (for me). (9 hours-too much). Then I realized that sleeping for 8 hours helped regain my energy and be more productive. Since then, I changed my goal to ‘sleep enough so I can be more productive’. I still sleep less than I need because of external factors such as work/study but at least I try to do my best. So far, the change has had positive effects on me.
How important is sleep to you? Do you think you sleep enough? Do you tend to cut down on sleep time to do work or socialize? Is there anything we can do to make the workplace more nap-friendly? Let’s discuss.