How Sleeping Will Make You More Successful

Last week I was traveling for business, kind of. The Russian was in Boston for the week so I rearranged my schedule to tag along, meet with clients, work remotely and mix things up a bit. It was a logistical headache, but worth it.

Seven days in Beantown. In a hotel. Seven days far away from home and my only responsibility was work. No home, kids, pets…just work.

What did I do?

I worked.

What else did I do?

I slept.

Alot.

There is a point to this “sleeping a lot in a hotel,” post so stay with me here for a second.

It began Monday morning, or should I say Monday afternoon around 12:30pm which was the time I woke up my first day in Boston. A quick look at MYLA (this is my nickname for my Fitbit. It stands for Move Your Lazy Ass) told me I had slept for 10 hours and 23 minutes. 

I was shocked. 

I didn’t think I even had an 8 hour slumber in me, so 10 hours and 23 minutes seemed impossible. 

Was I sick, I wondered?

I couldn’t have been sick because I felt so good. Little kid waking up on the first day of summer vacation good. 6 month puppy let off the leash in the dog park good. I was energized… and I didn’t even feel guilty. Okay, maybe a teeny bit but by 7pm when The Russian arrived back to the hotel I had wrapped up one of the most productive and creative 5 hours of work I had in a while. And I ran 5 miles. And, I was ready for a 5 hour tourist laden adventure in to Boston, which we did. Damn, that was some good sleep!

The next morning, Tuesday, the first of a series of electronic beeps began at 6:30am. The beeps started and stopped every 7-8 minutes (or whatever the standard snooze time interval is). The Russian is a 3-10X snoozer and therefore this day began as most days do… lots of hurrying around until all (or almost all) self cleaning, dressing, gathering items, routines are completed and a rush out the door sometimes accompanied by a verbal goodbye, but mostly the more expedient backhanded wave. I stayed in bed. I don’t do this. I don’t stay in bed. Except, I did. And I went back to sleep.

I slept until 12:45pm when our hotel door burst open. It was The Russian. This time he focused his energy on opening the curtains, turning on lights and peppering me with questions relating to my new habit of staying in bed and not answering my phone; this was making him a very worried man. I checked MYLA and smiled when I saw that I had slept 8 hours and 25 minutes. Again, I felt fantastic and again (after The Russian exited the room and I pinky sweared to answer my phone) I had a super productive and creative work day with a little exercise added in.

The rest of the week in Boston I maintained my new sleep schedule and the effects were outstanding. My attitude improved, my work had more depth, I exercised harder…all was right with the world.

I am back home. The kids and pets and home need attention so it would make sense to think of my Boston Slumbers as just the unexpected and delightful result of some time away. But that’s not how it is going to go. I’m sticking to the 8. It isn’t easy. It requires a lot of discipline, but it is so worth it. 

As a society we tend to search for replacements to counteract the negative habits that wreak havoc on our mind and body. We up our caffeine, add more supplements, and look for the latest quick fix to get the most out of ourselves so we can do more, so we can be better. We look outward for answers when we have everything we need already. 

Try this for one week. Get some sleep. Real sleep. 8 hours a night, every night, no exceptions. It will be one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. You’ll see.

sleep and your brain
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