Are You Making Time By Cutting Sleep?

Getting Less Done In the Long Run

For the majority of us finding time to get everything done is the bane of our existence. From waking up and starting with finding time to make the bed, drink coffee, get your fill of news, get the kids ready for school, and somehow squeeze in a workout, the day starts out rushed. Then add work, after school activities, blah…blah blah..BLAH!!! You get the point. So what are we supposed to do to get everything done? A lot of times, our first thought it to stay up later to squeeze more in. Sure, you can find another hour or two at the end of the day to finish what needs to be completed. Who really needs 8 hours of sleep when 5 or 4 will do. Well, it’s a little bit more complicated than that.

Starting You Day Off After Choosing to Cut Down On Sleep

When you have chosen to take the route of less sleep, to squeeze more productivity in, your day starts out lagging. There’s a couple of things you should probably note.

First, the discomfort and lack of awakeness (not a word, but who’s judging). Easy fix, just drink more coffee. Oh but wait why does it feel like your crashing two hours later? Well, that’s because the caffeine was absorbed and done. Drink more coffee? 

Second, you’ll want to snack more. Not a little more, but a LOT more. On average, a person with sleep deficiency will gain almost ten pounds a year from snacking. There’s a reason for your hunger, your lack of sleep is triggering a hormone that makes you want to eat more. Oh, and there’s another hormone attacking your will power, so good luck.

Midday After a Short Night of Sleep

Typically lunch consists of a decent meal, right? Well, now you’re binging on lunch, donuts, soda, crackers, candy…whatever finds it’s way in front of you has a good chance of being eaten today.  

Your mind is sluggish by now. Your thoughts are slower, and decision making is pretty bad. You’re getting frustrated because it seems like everything is getting done at a much slower rate. Your to-do list doesn’t seem to be getting smaller, only longer.

Afternoon After a Night of Little Sleep

Why is your co-worker being so annoying today? Don’t they all know they are getting on your last nerve? Yes, you know you were supposed to get that task done by lunch, you’ve just been overwhelmed by everything else. Your partner keeps texting you and bugging you about something you forgot to check on this morning. It’s all getting to be too much. Yup, you are getting angry because of lack of sleep. Hormones that generally help you get through things are in your system, and today they aren’t helping, there are way too many of them in your system because lack of sleep slows their management. Your anger isn’t real, but it sure does feel like it is.  

Evening Time After a Night of Little Sleep

You’re in the home stretch, you can feel the bed calling you. Today has literally sucked the life out of you. So many things didn’t get finished, it feels like you didn’t get anything done today. Your stress level is at a high, your anger has subsided, but only because you’re exhausted.  

Its decision time, do you go to sleep early today OR do you chose to stay up and get things done? 

What’s Really Happened Here?

How many of us can read through the example above and know the exact feelings and emotions associated with the struggle? What if I told you science suggests that if you cut your awake time down, you’d get more done? Yes, instead of staying up for more time to do more, you cut down the time and get more done. Doesn’t make sense, does it? 

As illustrated above, your body will rebel against your will to get things done. You don’t stand a chance against the forces at work within you. Hormones to body pains, you don’t stand a chance.  

You need sleep, not only for a healthy body and mind but also to rest and regroup. Your to-do list needs you to seek rest. Your family needs you to sleep well. YOU need it. Stop thinking that by sleeping less, you can do more. Your body just doesn’t work that way.