Confession Time

It’s time for me to own up, to come clean. I’m doing this because I have a bad habit – one that is in my control, that I can do something about, but that my failure to address has been a cause of frustration and annoyance with myself. So, by coming clean publicly, I hope and intend to do something about it, to put some momentum behind my efforts. I’m also expecting that my confession might also flush out a few others who are guilty also, to a lesser or greater extent. Then, together, we can put this issue right.

I don’t get enough sleep!

Now, on the scale of confessions that might not sound so bad. You might be forgiven for thinking there are plenty of people with far worse ‘bad habits’. However, this bugs me in a very big way. For one, as an educator and a parent I believe I have a duty to set a good example – and i’m not doing that. Secondly, my profession and my personal study in the areas of psychology etc. give me ample access to information about all the downsides of what i’m doing. And worse, every day I know and am aware of the price I’m paying personally for this habit.

If you want to get the scale of how bad sleep deprivation is, then this article from Huffington Post sets out succinctly the overall position of current knowledge on the subject:

Huffington Post – 8 Scary Side Effects of Sleep Deprivation

I think the word scary is absolutely right for the points highlighted. And, after all – if I’m not as svelte as I once was, the evidence is there plain to see for me every day. Now, please don’t think this is about mere vanity (though there might be a bit of that!). The truth is that the extra weight I’ve carried over the last few years is not just an aesthetic problem (or even a ‘getting clothes to fit and look good’ issue). Rather, it represents evidence of increased risk from a number of health factors. And, what’s more, it’s so far been very stubborn in its resistance to exercise and attempts to control my diet. I actually believe that if I can address the sleep issue, then the exercise and diet control will have the desired effect. Then, not only will my vanity get a boost, but I can also improve my overall health, make my time more productive and set a better example.

So, I’m a man on a mission. Care to join me, all those who get tempted to just get ‘a bit more done’ each day, resulting in too little sleep?

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2 Responses

  1. Nice post 🙂

  2. That is an interesting confession Mark….. How much sleep is absolutely necessary for a person to work sanely and be productive? This question nagged me a lot during the time I was working full time and pursuing my degree as well. So much so that I did a bit of research on this topic and to my relief I found out that “one size does not fit all” the number of hours of sleep one requires depends on a lot of factors – kind of work one does, sleeping routine one follows, sleeping pattern one maintains… Is one engaging and tiring the mind and the body enough to get a good deep sleep?
    We have been told that human body needs up to eight hours of sleep but there has never been any evidence.
    Daniel Kripke (one of the most acclaimed researchers about sleep) through his latest study found out that “people who sleep 6.5 to 7.5 hours live longest, are happier and more productive.
    There are many variable factors which play equally vital role in determining how many hours of sleep each individual needs as opposed to how many hours of sleep all humans need.
    If we agree to the fact that sleep enables our brains to recharge and body muscles to relax… that it helps us to sharpen our focus and our ability to get more work done… we need to find what pattern suits us and our kind of work the best and follow the same.
    Interestingly there are some apps available which help you determine how much sleep would one require to be able to work efficiently:)
    I wonder how effective they are?
    So I think that we should educate our children in such a way that they are able to balance their daily routine with enough physical, mental, technical and creative activities to be able to have a good sleep … enough to recharge their minds and be able to focus on the next day effectively.

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