Much as youth is wasted on the young, I firmly believe that naps are wasted on children. It takes being a harried adult to fully appreciate the luxury of being able to just stop whatever you’re doing and take a nice, relaxing rest if that’s what you need. Of course, by the time most of us would appreciate a daily siesta, there’s no time for that.
For me, sleep is my handiest barometer of my mental health. This is even more true now that I’m a freelancer; when I get into poor sleep habits as I work here from home, they’re all too easy to perpetuate because I don’t need to be commuting to work and sitting in a cubicle for eight hours. If I don’t sleep well at night nowadays, I actually can sneak a nap in more often than not… but it means I don’t get my work done when I should… which means I’m liable to stay up too late working… which leads to not getting enough sleep… which, hey, did I mention there’s a hole in the bucket? You get the idea.
Because this is an issue near and dear to my sleep-loving freelancer’s heart, I loved this recent guest post by Tania Dakka over at Problogger about sleep mistakes that negatively impact your blog.
I mean, sure, everyone knows that you need to sleep for good health. But this actually outlines the ways in which you may be justifying cutting health corners “for your work” which are, in fact, totally counterproductive.
Definitely read the entire piece, but here are the five “sleep mistakes” Ms. Dakka cites:
1) Eating and drinking the wrong things at the wrong times. (I think we’ve all done that. Who amongst us hasn’t been lured in by the coffee pot’s siren song during a late-afternoon slog, only to regret it after lights out?)
2) Not exercising. (Mea culpa.)
3) Hitting the hay too late. (See also: Did I mention the coffee?)
4) Not having a sleep routine. (More on this in a second.)
5) Electronics in the bedroom. (The quality of my life has vastly improved since I stopped taking my laptop into my bedroom, for real.)
I think her points are fantastic, and worth reviewing for anyone, really, though I did enjoy the spin on why specifically these bad habits can negatively impact your blogging.
I have just one really minor quibble: The sleep routine. I think it’s great advice to have a routine—sleep always comes easier when there’s a routine, and I’ve heard health experts advocate waking and retiring at the same time every day again and again—but I guess I just feel like you need to leave some room for adjustments. In an ideal world, you could set an optimal routine and it would work. Reality is that sometimes your routine gets thrown off due to unexpected circumstances. Sometimes the reality is that even on your perfectly regimented routine, one morning your body is going to beg for more sleep or one weekend you’re going to flip your schedule around completely and that’ll be fine, too. I guess my point is only that even a good set of “rules” sometimes has to be preempted by whatever’s happening in the moment. Don’t stop listening to your body just because what you’re doing is “supposed” to be right.
Other than that one small point, though… I think she’s right on. Good sleep for good health and good blogging!
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