The Importance of Sleep
I have just woken up from a very refreshing sleep. Somewhat unusual to be doing so on a working day. Particularly with the busy schedule we have been working towards. Although this does highlight that although I may have learnt this lesson once I may need a refresher.
Last year I found myself out of balance and not sleeping well. I constantly felt tired and did not know what to do. It felt like each night for weeks I had slept up to two hours. Although in truth I had been sleeping for five or six hours. I had been aware of sleep monitoring for some time as this integrates with the RunKeeper site. I opted for a sleep monitor that would be worn at night and measure brain wave activity to determine my waking, REM, light and deep sleep states. The Zeo Bedside also came with a free account on the Zeo website that allows uploading of your data and also coaching. These coaching tips would come once a week and ask you to provide six nights of data as you put the tips in practice. They are very simple steps of not using electronic devices for forty minutes before bed, limiting noise and light sources in or near the bedroom. The result was that I not only found that my sleep had been good but also helped me maintain a very healthy (better than average) sleeping pattern.
So this has slipped somewhat at the moment. The consistency has been disturbed by a change in work pattern to move between different shift patterns (albeit only altering my work start time over a two hour range) this is not something i have particulate control over and therefore something to simply adjust to. I have been feeling additional pressure and am as always driven to succeed. I am therefore neglecting my personal creative outlets that provide me great joy and allow me to enjoy my off time. I have enabled work to integrate more into my personal time and have been spending extra time in order to maintain an idea that I am “keeping my head above water”. These areas are certainly well within my power of choice. Consequently my choices have been to “make the most” of the time I don’t allocate to work by watching TV up until going to bed, ignoring the “power down hour” concept.
Of course all of these choices made then lead to a lower average level of sleep which further enables me to make further poor quality choices. The cycle then continues and as a result i feel the need to push myself further and further to accomplish what I need to at work whilst further disregarding the importance of my personal life and commitments. To the extent that after a particularly busy day my Manager felt the need (for my benefit) to advise me to go home and sleep. I choose to see the great value of a boss that holds staff welfare in this regard and to take this latest warning point to put the quality back in.
I am now choosing to put the quality back into my sleep management and restore the lost disciplines to ensure my nights are as valuable as they can be. I also choose to put the quality of my personal time back into play as it does not serve my wellbeing to obsess about the quality of my efforts at work and then fail to make even the basic efforts for my own enjoyment. As Louise Hay teaches the point of power is in this moment, I now choose differently…