Monday, January 16, 2012

Sleeping In

Not sure if this means much of anything, but...
At long last, it appears that I'm learning the art of sleeping in. Until sometimes as late as 8:00 AM.
Don't laugh...for several years, I got up between 5:30 and 5:50 AM. It just worked better for me to get to the day gig if I started my day ridiculously early.
Even for awhile once I began freelancing, I was still getting up at 6 or so.
And I kinda like that.

However, in order to do that and not feel like a bad-tempered lummox by 2 PM, I need to be in bed by 9.
(NOW, you can laugh.)

People have pooh-poohed the idea that I would need to be in bed by 9 to get up at 6. 
Someone once said to me, "But that's nine hours!"
I said, "Congratulations. You pass the math test."
The implication, of course, is that no adult needs nine hours of sleep. Growing children, maybe. But adults? Aw, heck, we should be able to get by on five, six max. Right? We're tough. We can't spend our time sleeping our lives away. There's work to be done!

Yeah. Right. While all the time, doctors keep telling us that over 60% of us never get enough sleep.
We qualify, in fact, as sleep-deprived. 
We need eight to nine hours a night, at least most of us do, to fully allow the body to relax, repair, and renew.
How many of us allow it to do that?

Sleep deprivation is a form of torture. It's designed to weaken judgment, defenses, and ability to think clearly. Yet millions and millions of us, every day, willingly torture ourselves this way...thinking we're functional.

We're not.

We're underperforming, we're under-achieving, and what's worse...we're under the level of being truly human and truly healthy. We get sick more easily when we don't have enough sleep. We get irritable faster when we don't have enough sleep. We fly off the handle more easily, we have less patience with people and events, we don't tolerate life's ups and downs as well, when we don't have enough sleep. Lack of sleep can break down barriers of all kinds, leading to injuries, accidents, and even depression. It's a major stressor--and yet so many of us consider it a badge of honor to do that to ourselves day after day after day.


Yes, I know. Job demands. Family demands. World demands.
But maybe...just'd be worth it to stop demanding so much of ourselves until we get a little more rest.

Fortunately, I'm able to answer that malady with a change of lifestyle. Even if I can't get to bed at 9 PM, which I often cannot, I can at least sleep in further at the *other* end of the clock. 
Something I'm still getting used to, mind you.

I humbly submit that perhaps one of the best things the business world could do for their overall growth and prosperity would be to slice into the "work" and "face time" hours they expect employees to put in...and allow them to get home in time so that they can be decently present for a few hours before getting to bed at an equally decent hour.

The rise in productivity, I suspect, would be truly amazing.
It only remains for a forward-thinking company to dare to try it.
To let their employees get more done by "trying easier."

Many, many companies pride themselves on trying to make more "holistic" workplaces. They put in conveniences on the job site from day care to beauty salons to gyms or exercise facilities. They offer healthier foods in employee cafeterias. They provide "nap rooms" or encourage employees to walk outdoors on coffee breaks. 

But we all know in our heart of hearts that  a "nap room" at a place of business will never, ever truly make up for the lack of sleep necessitated by long commutes to a job where one's expected to put in 9 hours of face time a day, if not more.
Better to shut the nap room down and tell everyone to go home an hour or two earlier.
It'll pay off in the long run.
And in healthier, happier people overall...which is nothing to sneeze at, either.

It only takes one company to do this. When the others see the fabulous results that will come of it, they'll follow suit.  I can only wonder who'll be brave enough to "go first."

I am, here at CFWC place. 
Any other freelancers game to start?


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