Do you ever feel so tired you have to force yourself to stay awake? Do small problems sometimes elicit big emotional reactions? Do you get things done through sheer willpower even though you’re exhausted?
You may not be getting adequate rest.
I certainly saw a huge leap in my ability to react appropriately, get things done, achieve physical goals, and see situations more clearly when I made getting adequate rest a priority and worked my life around that. And I see those things deteriorate if I don’t consistently follow my self-prescribed guidelines for getting enough sleep.
What I also noticed, however, was that getting tied to a specific number of hours of sleep or type of rest created limiting beliefs about what I could and could not do. If I didn’t get that magic number of hours of sleep one night, I would expect to feel bad and struggle the next day. And so I would.
But did it have to be that way?
One day I asked myself if getting that certain number of hours of sleep every night was a Universal Truth, meaning it is True no matter who, no matter what? I recognized that it wasn’t. I could actually point to several high-functioning people who consistently got less sleep and did just fine.
This meant that a certain number of hours was then generally true for me. Those magic hours were still the goal I wanted to shoot for, but that if for some reason I didn’t get those hours it didn’t automatically mean that my day would be an energetic struggle. In other words, I could occasionally get less sleep and still have a great day.
So I began changing my thoughts about sleep. If I naturally woke up in the middle of the night, I asked myself what I wanted to do. Did I want to get up and accomplish something? Relax and meditate? Ponder what I would consider the perfect solution to a situation? Or just bask in appreciation of my life and the world?
And occasionally things come up in the evening that mean I don’t make my bedtime, and sometimes, I just make a different choice.
In all of these situations I give myself permission to do what feels right and still get up and feel vibrant, alive, and eager the next day.
I still strive to consistently get that magic number of hours of sleep every night, but my goal now is to get adequate rest—whatever that looks like on any given night. And I can monitor my energy levels to let me know if I’m tilting toward needing more sleep.
What does adequate rest mean for you? How does getting adequate rest impact your energy levels? Where might you be creating limiting beliefs about the amount of sleep you are or are not getting? How does getting adequate rest impact the quality of your life?
Together we can do it!
I need my 8 hours, but I live with an insomniac who can occasionally crash around and keep me awake. I used to push through the tiredness later in the day, but now I realize the only person who is pushing me through it is me and I will suffer for it, so now if I get days when I feel exhausted I allow myself to crash after dinner for an hour and feel so much better for it 🙂
When I ran my own business I worked from 7am to 1-2am the next morning, then I wondered why I felt burnt out lol
Glad you have found the solution that works for you! Thanks for commenting.
Very interesting! I don’t think I have a magic number, but I also know when I haven’t slept enough. So, I guess there is some self-policing in there that has to happen. It depends for me. Some nights when I get 8 hours of sleep, I feel useless the next day and some nights when I get 4 hours of sleep I feel great. But there has to be a balance for me where I at least get decent sleep on some nights. As long as I make sure I get some good nights of sleep in there I’m usually ok.
* Keep in mind I have a very high energy level and I tend to go to bed pretty late…my habits may not be ‘normal’ haha 🙂
You are a great example of adequate rest being different depending on the day and person. Sounds like balance is key for you. Tuning in to your body and doing a little “self-policing” will help you key in on what is optimal for you. Thanks for sharing!
This is definitely something I suffer from, probably more than I would like to admit to myself. I know when I get more sleep that I am actually more productive than trying to use too many of my hours in a day and then making silly decisions which waste a lot of time. My partner also knows not to try to have a serious conversation with me when I’m tired. It’s likely to elicit tears of frustration for no particular reason.
Sounds like you know yourself really well, which is awesome. What could you do to make getting more sleep a higher priority? Thanks so much for commenting!
I could sleep 10 hours a night just as Sophia Loren once said she does. Mostly it’s about 6 or 7 but I feel great on 9 or 10 and look waaaaayyyy younger. Too bad my life is not yet such that I can catch all the ZZZ’s I need. Adequate rest also means simply down time with no stresses or pressures to do, be or anything at all. Without it, and it really doesn’t have to be much, 30 minutes here, an hour there, I function better than if I press myself to be busy, busy, busy at all times. Going to sleep now, hope I get at least 8, lol 🙂
Absolutely! Rest comes in many forms and balance is important. Thanks so much for commenting! Hope you had a great night’s sleep!