I went out on my porch (in the cold) and took this picture. That is what 6:37 AM looked like today in my neighborhood. It was pretty but seriously, if I never see that time again my life will be better for it. Ha ha!
A few years ago I started forcing myself to get enough sleep (that means EIGHT whole hours every night, people) and it was game changing. I hardly ever get sick and my brain doesn't usually feel foggy like it used to. The only problem that I was still having was that I often had to be at work before 8:00 AM which meant that I needed to be awake even earlier. If you have to get up at 6:00 AM that means bedtime is 10:00 PM. For me that doesn't really work. I can do it if I force myself all the time but it's not exactly the path of least resistance.
If I had zero responsibilities and just let my body do whatever it wanted then I'd probably go to bed around 2:00 AM and get up at 10:00 AM. That's 8 hours. That's kind of what I've been doing in the past few weeks but I kind of want to try to shift it a little earlier. Since I typically work until pretty late I sort of need to combine staying up late enough to have time to relax and wind down after work with having to be awake at a time of day when stores and banks are open.
I completely changed how I thought about working because of sleep. I didn't stop teaching only because teaching means getting up at 5:00 AM, but it did factor in. Seriously. I do not want to feel sick (and BE sick). I do not want to be exhausted all of the time. My body doesn't want to get up before the sun is high in the sky so I decided not to push it.
I'm not saying that everyone should make career decisions based on when they feel like going to bed. But I am saying that if you aren't getting enough sleep then you shouldn't act like it's cool to live on fumes. It's not. I don't feel bad for people who brag about never getting enough sleep. I feel bad for people who are going through seasons of life when sleep is impossible. For example, a random deadline at work or a NEW BABY. Those are temporary reasons why getting no sleep makes sense. But in the long run it's not realistic.
The sky was really pretty this morning and I'm sorry if whatever I wrote above this seems to be a cranky rant yelling at you to prioritize sleep over everything else. I really do believe that putting your body and health first is the only responsible way to live. But I probably could have said it in a nicer way...I have no idea. Remember, I would normally be sleeping right now.
How much sleep do you need to feel good? Do you actually get that amount? Are you a night owl like me? If you are then we should hang out on Twitter in the middle of the night!!