Dear Why Team member,
I hope this week’s message finds you well rested and full of energy.
If not, why not?
Are you getting enough sleep?
As we continue to explore the tools to have our Best Year Ever, nothing can really compare to the value of sleep. No other activity in our life is more important than sleep as sleep is the primary powerhouse that fuels every other activity. Our achieve-more culture often emphasizes less sleep rather than more, but the results are a decline in health, productivity, and overall life satisfaction.
If we do not become more conscious of the reasons why we undermine our own objectives, we will continue to be in our own way. Pogo said we have identified the enemy and the enemy is us. Wordsworth said habits rule the unreflecting herd. Stopping to reflect on our habits and why we habit the way we do is a powerful path to improvement.
Could the key to more, be: more sleep?
Early in my career, I tried out our cultural formula of less sleep to achieve more, and it led to burn-out again and again. Fortunately, I woke up to the exhausting and limiting approach and for the past six years have endeavored to keep more sleep at the top of my priority list. And as a result, I have absolutely experienced a life more abundant in every way.
If there was only one thing you could change in 2019 to have your Best Year Ever, it should be to hit the sack earlier.
When you are lacking sleep, consider asking yourself these questions:
Why do I undervalue the importance of sleep?
Why do I not go to bed earlier?
Why do I make excuses for how late I go to bed?
For every minute of extra sleep, how much more enjoyable and productive will the minutes be when you are awake? It’s more sleep, not less.
However, some will say: more sleep means less productivity. But I’d encourage you to look no further than little children. When their body is stretched to the limit, it demands rest and the child simply falls asleep, sometimes in the strangest places, waking up invigorated and often with a lot more energy than we’re able to keep up with. I bet the expression “I slept like a baby” was borne from someone experiencing the ability to sleep for as long as necessary without the fear of lost or reduced productivity and waking up invigorated.
Why be awake more - running at less capacity?
If you want to look at the research, you’ll find in many studies that not suppressing your body’s need to rest with diet additives like coffee and energy drinks, leads to a more productive life. Check out Brian Johnson’s teaching videos- one of my favorite tools for learning and growing. He talks about how elite athletes like Tom Brady goes to bed at 8:30 p.m., Roger Federer and LeBron James aim for 12 hours of sleep per day so that they can show up at their absolute best. 12 hours is certainly standing out from the crowd, but has it not brought out-standing results?!
The importance of sleep cannot be overemphasized; a must read is Chapter 9: Sacred Sleep (and the Hormonal Helpers) in the outstanding book “Genius Foods” by Max Lugavere; recommended in my recent 12/17/18 Why Team Weekly.
Consider reading or listening to The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington and/or reading Brian Johnson’s recent Optimize posts on sleep.
Download an app to measure the quality of your sleep. I began leveraging the SLEEP CYCLE sleep app six years ago, and it has served me significantly. That which we measure we are more empowered to improve.
Could it be true that a new discipline of going to bed one hour earlier each night could have a profoundly positive impact on every aspect of your life?!
For your absolute best year ever, consider one change at a time; first and foremost, re-organize your life to accommodate an earlier bedtime.
Do it for yourself and everyone you love. While you may have a little less time in the evening with yourself and/or your loved ones - your relationship with yourself and others will vastly improve when you are more present and awake from having more sleep.
Have fun and get it done!
It stands to reason that the quality of our life when awake depends significantly on the quality of our life when asleep. Be equally attentive to both, with a bias to sleep, or the lack of sleep will cause you to be less attentive to both.
Few men have accomplished more than Ben Franklin; and of course, he gave us his secret to success:
Early to Bed, Early to Rise, makes a man(woman) Healthy, Wealthy and Wise.
For your Best Year Ever: strive to make each week a great week of sleep!