Is it really necessary to sleep 25-33% of your life away? Absolutely. Sleep may seem to take away from a full life, but if you have ever suffered from insomnia you’ll know that quality sleep is absolutely necessary to your quality of life. I’ve definitely had times in my life when I’ve struggled with poor sleep quality and quantity. Stress, unhappiness, and sometimes for no discernible reason I have trouble getting to sleep or problems with waking in the middle of the night and not being able to get back to sleep. Put together 2 or 3 good nights of sleep and I feel terrific, at ease, and ready for anything. Put together 2 or 3 nights of bad sleep and I feel anxious, unproductive, and ill prepared for tougher challenges. So if I sleep less, I have more time to live, but life quickly becomes less meaningful. In order to sleep better I need to make it a priority. Sleep has to be more important than the things that distract me from sleep.
Even when I’ve made it a priority sleep can sometimes elude me. I find it hard to clear my mind. Sometimes writing down my thoughts helps, sometimes it just spawns even more thoughts. Sometimes working out helps, other times it can leave me sore and unable to get comfortable in bed. I am definitely envious of people who can fall asleep in minutes, regardless of what is going on in their lives. What seems to work best is to empty my mind and think of nothing. This is difficult for me, so I try counting, or focusing on my breathing. Any thought that sneaks in seems to trigger a whole flood of thoughts, so I have to really avoid that happening.
This year I’m trying to change a lot of bad habits, create a lot of good habits, and live a full life. So far I’m on track, but I have not been able to consistently achieve a good quality and quantity of sleep. I am going to move my sleep much higher on my list.