It’s Addicting

Little kids “just say no!” Teenagers tend to overindulge. As adults, we are praised and glorified if we abstain, as long as we boast about it. It’s seen as a sign of a strong will and strength. I’ve fallen victim to this trap… especially this year. I would tell myself to get a little more, but then say “No, you’re training for a marathon… you can’t. Training trumps.”

Is this some kind of drug? Well… kind of. It’s almost as controversial as hardcore drugs sometimes.

I’m talking about SLEEP!

Sleep: An amazing drug

So let’s go back to that first paragraph. Little kids “just say no!” to SLEEP. Teenagers tend to overindulge in SLEEP. As adults, we are praised and glorified if we abstain from SLEEP, as long as we boast about it. Not SLEEPING is seen as a sign of a strong will and strength. I’ve fallen victim to this trap… especially this year. I would tell myself to get a little more SLEEP, but then say “No, you’re training for a marathon… you can’t. Training trumps SLEEP.”

Here’s the thing… I’ve been letting myself sleep a little more since the Boston Marathon. And this extra sleep has almost been like I’ve gotten a hit of a drug. I frequently don’t want to forfeit that sleep to get up early to run. Instead of 5ish hours a night, 7 hours feels glorious! Sometimes I get 8 hours!

Sleep tracking output from Pivotal Living wristband

But I want to run and I have races on the horizon. I need to get up early to run in order to fit it in. It’s getting hot and I don’t want heat stroke from running on my lunch hour. Plus there’s my job… it’s just building and building in volume and it’s harder to slip away for a lunch break anyway.

I just don’t understand why it’s become a sign that you’re doing something amazing.

  • “I worked on that project all night, I only got 3 hours of sleep.”
  • “I pulled an all-nighter.”
  • “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”

It’s not like consistently telling your colleagues that you drank a whole lot the night before would be looked upon as a strength, but that’s essentially what is happening when you are consistently staying awake too many hours.

Never mind the fact that it’s a fundamental requirement… we NEED to sleep. It’s not like we put off other essentials to prove that we’re killing it at work. “Dude, I only peed once yesterday!”

Sleep heals us. Sleep energizes us. We need sleep… And when you get more sleep after you’ve been deprived, you just want more of it. Your body gets a hit and then it craves more. But when you get too much, you turn into a lazy sloth.

Thus… Sleep is an amazing and powerful drug. 

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2 comments

  1. Sleep is my favorite thing. I started sleeping in more after finishing my half in January and also letting myself stay up a little later at night to read before bed, which is a bad cycle I’m now trying to break out of. I also got into the habit of taking short naps on weekend afternoons. My friends make fun of me for it, but I really notice the difference if I don’t take them.

    • Ah… Naps. I used to take weekend naps! Someday I will get to do that again. I hope! I had a child nearly 3 years ago who is anti-nap!

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