Inspiration Corner
A collection of write-ups from experiences of life that inspire, empower, influence & trigger positive values, habits & mindsets.


Should You Be Sacrificing Sleep for Success?

Big question for most. Everybody wants to achieve something sizeable and meaningful and with standards rising each day, it's only giving an indication to people that they need to give up on snoozing away in to the bed for apt no of hours. Is that true at all? Read ON!
“6-7-8 hours of sleep is the game, don’t get it twisted- it’s not how much you sleep it’s what you do while you are awake.”–Gary Vaynerchuk

What is your record regarding sleep? What is the longest time you have been sleeping continuously? Just think of an answer before moving forward. I don’t know what your answer is. But let me tell you, it makes no sense. Just like your score highest score in Candy Crush or PUBG, it is one of those records which has no value of its own apart from adding spice to normal boring conversation.

sleeping well for success Sleep is the integral component of work ethics. Particularly, apart from work it’s something consuming a major portion of your life. Depending on how much you sleep, sleep constitutes about one third of all our life. So if you are going to make the best use of your 24 hours, sleep must justify its position as well.

Have you ever listened to a motivational video? I am sure you must have at least once in your life. In many of those videos regarded as the epitome of inspiration, you would notice a pattern similar to anti-sleep movement where sleep becomes a major hindrance to success. Then there are your parents complaining you of not waking up early, your teachers motivating you to sacrifice sleep in order to study better and there are you who at times who constantly crave more time in the day thinking that you should sleep less and work more. It seems that everyone in the cruel world including a version of yourself is against sleep which is probably only thing in many phases of your life that you truly enjoy. The primary question is: “Why sleep and work mostly defined as mutually exclusive or antonyms to each other?”

Look at the below statements closely:

Person A: I slept for 12 hours today

Person B: I worked for 12 hours today

Now, tell me honestly what do you associate with each statement. Just with a scenario you may be able to predict nature and future of these two men. Life is not at all different. This is why having a great daily ritual for work is so important. It’s more than just labelling hours in your work days as work. In the first statement when a person says that he slept for 12 hours, you most likely had assumed that the person is just lazy, irresponsible and a slacker. If I say that I just worked for 12 hours you would assume that I have most of the qualities required for success. That’s how life works. It’s not about individual entity and understanding them in isolation, but a wholesome of multiple often uncountable factors that shape up an activity. If you just spend hours uselessly in from of TV or chatting with friends daily, I could easily assume that your work ethic or your study life is not in its great form. Though the two activities are very different, they both have similar associations which breeds a failure and not a success mindset.

The bottom line is you cannot go without sleep even a single day, unless there is an absolute genuine reason to do so. The way our body is wired would never allow us to do that. Sleep is vital but so is success. Can’t there be a sweet spot where we can get right amount of both. The truth about sleep regarding success is not that you should sacrifice sleep for success but it’s more like 
“you must be willing sacrifice sleep (in part mostly or completely in a day) whenever success demands”. This mindset acknowledges all the beneficial effects of sleep but at the same time it also points out that getting a complete 8 hours or more of sleep everyday can come as an obstacle to success and you must choose success at all times if you want it bad enough.

My suggestion is that you just decide a number of hours that you intend to sleep normally every single day. The number itself matters less than what is coming next. Make a long term plan. Don’t just keep a low number of hours just to feel good at the moment. Like most things in life that too shall pass, more readily than you would like. Keep a ritual in sleep that you can execute for years and years to come. Now you have decided the number of hours then that is your maximum. Apart from power naps you may be taking throughout the day lasting for as less as a few minutes to an hour or more, never ever sleep more than your specified time duration. At most means there could be days when you do not sleep at all but the maximum has to be that number which you decided. The final point and very important one. Make this consistent as much as possible even on weekends or holidays. Even if you sleep for same amount of time every day let’s say 7 hours there is a hell of difference between sleeping from 10 pm to 5 am on one day and sleeping from 1 am to 8 am on the other. That sort of variety though may seem like a mini adventure to you is utterly worthless. Keep it as consistent as possible.
If you have never been consistent with your sleep schedule, you have no idea what being completely refreshed and productive feels like. Unless you have genuine reason, nobody values that at all. Not even you own body.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 10th January 2019.
Anish Dhakal
Anish Dhakal is a contributing writer at Inspiration Unlimited eMagazine.

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