The importance of sleep

Last night reminded me of the importance of sleep; in this case my lack of sleep. For some reason my mind could not stop thinking after a discussion I had with my wife, just before going to bed. I was awake most of the night, thinking things through. This is very unusually for me as I normally do not worry that much.

A good night rest is very important to me. I need the full 8 hours. Without it I can not function well. Normally I am a happy, joyful person, but without sleep I get grumpy and cannot concentrate.

This lack of sleep reminded me today of the importance sleep has on our body and mind. On this blog I frequently post articles on personal development and communication; but without enough sleep or rest, even the best personal development technique will not work.

With the help of several cups of coffee I was able create 10 suggestions, based on personal experience, on the importance of sleep:

  1. Listen to your body. Take some rest when you feel tired. Your body needs time to regenerate.
  2. Get a good night rest. For most people this means 7-8 hours sleep every night. Do not spend too much time watching TV in the evening.
  3. Do you need to work late? Make sure there is some time left to relax after finishing work. Going to bed right after doing the job isn’t a good idea.
  4. Do not involve yourself in important conversations just before going to bed. Chances are you will spend a long time thinking them over, keeping you awake (yeah right, I wish I knew this sooner).
  5. Do not eat a meal right before you go to bed. Your body is still digesting the food.
  6. Talking about food: A heavy meal (e.g. eating a huge steak) will keep your stomach busy for hours.
  7. Don’t drink too much alcohol. A good chance you will wake up in the middle of the night (or in the morning with a headache).
  8. Without enough sleep you will not function optimal. Tests have shown that even your IQ will drop considerably.
  9. Exercise regularly. You will sleep better.
  10. Are you reading this post in the middle of the night? Shut down your PC and go to bed!

Now it’s time for me to get some rest!

2 comments… add one
  • Peter Hanfileti Aug 6, 2009 @ 0:27

    Hi Patrick,

    I like your 10 suggestions regarding sleep. It is so true that a good night’s sleep is very important for our overall health and ability to function optimally. The restorative power that sleep provides for our system’s energy is undisputed. I find your comments in this post parallel those from your previous one called “Silence is Essential”. The cyclical nature of our lives and the need for balance are quite striking in many different fields and in many different scenarios.

  • Find yourself with a smile... Aug 6, 2009 @ 5:32

    Another good post, Patrick.

    This is one of my challenge areas… in fact I’m the poster boy for ‘get more sleep’.

    Currently, I’m only getting just over 5 hours of sleep every night.

    I really feel the effects of this on everything else I do.

    Fortunately, my work schedule is changing soon, and I’ll be getting to sleep much later.

    Here’s to a good night’s rest!

    keep smiling,


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