Some people say sleeping is a waste of time, as a teenager, my dad would say “you can sleep when you’re dead.”
With so much focus on work and side hustles, it seems like sleep isn’t necessary. But this couldn’t be further from the truth, sleep is essential and something you must do. Plus, if you get enough sleep you will perform better at almost everything you do.
Life has gotten so complicated and our attention is spread thinner than ever, at the same time we have loads of work and screens in our hands 24/7. It is easy to get sucked into a show or social media but challenging to put it down and get to sleep.
If you thinking that sleep is a waste of time, keep reading cause there is a lot of proof to the contrary.
Sleeping is a Waste of Time?
So many of us think that sleeping is a waste of time because we have been taught to believe that doing stuff is the most important thing possible. We always hear stories about people who work 100 hour weeks or go years without a vacation. These stories are often framed as incredible feats and encourage readers to look up to these individuals.
One of the great heroes these days is Elon Musk, who runs Telsa, SpaceX, and some other companies. He undoubtedly works long hours and never seems to stop; he is also extremely wealthy and a poster boy of success. If you were to look up to him, you would believe that sleep isn’t essential cause look at all he does; there is no way he has time for 8 hours of sleep.
Regardless of how ambitious you are, you likely have trouble finding enough time for sleep; as there are so many distractions that it is hard to make time for rest.
Before I had a kid, it was common for me to get 6 hours or less sleep. When I was young, that seemed to work for me as well, but as I’ve got older, it has gotten more challenging to get work done if I am sleepy.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, everyone needs sleep, but there are different ranges for different age groups. Teenagers need 8 to 10 hours of sleep, while young adults need 7 to 9, and older adults require 7 to 8. As these numbers show, the younger you are, the more sleep you need, but this isn’t all there is to the story.
As young people have more energy, they can trick themselves into thinking they don’t need to sleep longer. But be aware, this isn’t a healthy long-term strategy.
When looking at the math, 8 hours a day turns into 1/3 of our day. When you imagine you will live for 83 years, that means you will spend around 27 or so years sleeping. That might seem like a lot of time, it might also seem like a waste of time, but without it, you can’t make the most of the other two-thirds of your time that you are awake.
While the science is clear on the need for sleep, most young people may still believe that sleeping is a waste of time. This most likely stems from our need to be online or entertained more than anything else, but even so, there are lots of reasons why it is necessary to get enough sleep.
Scientists suggest that a lack of sleep impairs our ability to think, a lot of our lives might not need thinking, but thinking is important for learning, and playing video games if you want to do well.
It is easy to stay up late studying, but staying up too late doesn’t allow your brain to recover or store memories as well. So you might feel better about studying late into the night, but getting enough sleep will probably help you do better on your exam.
A lack of sleep also messes with the immune system and contributes to obesity.
I can vouch for this as I’ve always noticed that I think less about what I am eating when I am tired. At the time, this doesn’t bother me so much, but when I think back on it, I always eat too much junk when I’m sleepy that I later regret.
People usually think they can avoid sleep by drinking lots of coffee or other caffeinated beverages. This may work in the short term, but it isn’t a real solution, instead, it mostly just pushes back the pain. When I was in university, that was when I first got into drinking coffee. It would help the first late-night, but then the next day I would be exhausted and it would be more challenging for me to even get work done during the day.
Sleep may seem like a waste of time, but if anything, it contributes to living a more happy and healthy life.
Without sleep, challenges will seem more complicated, and everyday tasks will feel less satisfying. Even if we are pushed to work more than we can, it is still essential to get enough sleep because that will help us perform our best.
What is Sleep Hygiene?
Sleep hygiene may sound like taking a bath while you sleep, but it is more about making sure that you get enough sleep and build healthy sleeping habits. The CDC recommends a few things when it comes to improving our sleeping habits. They include consistency, light control and healthy eating.
One of the most critical CDC recommendations is the need to be consistent, which means we should go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
This includes the weekend, which I know for myself is always when my sleep gets off track. That said, it is still vital to keep a good routine because it will help us get enough sleep every night rather than just some.
Another important recommendation is to make sure your room is dark and at a good temperature. When you don’t have air conditioning during the summer, this might be difficult, but it is essential to do what you can to keep cool, we often use a fan.
Be sure not to look at your phone while you are in bed, as that will mess with your brain and make it harder to fall asleep.
Finally, the CDC recommends eating healthy, avoiding too much caffeine and getting enough exercise. Over the Christmas holidays, I felt worn out; even though I was on vacation, it didn’t seem to help much. I decided to cut down on the coffee I was drinking and committed to riding my stationary bike that had been sitting in the corner for years. As a result of these changes in habits, I have been sleeping better and generally feeling better overall.
Sleep Isn’t a Waste of Time, We Get To Dream
One of the biggest reasons I don’t think sleep is a waste of time is that we get to dream while we sleep. I have always been a fan of dreaming and used to be an active lucid dreamer. At the very least, keeping a journal of our dreams is a great way to see the value of dreaming.
Dreams are a gateway to our minds, as they help us learn about ourselves, what we are thinking, and what we can do better.
On top of this, dreams have been shown to play an important role in memory and problem-solving. Dreams are never a waste of time, as they are the key to better performance in everything we do.
While there are many benefits to dreams, dreams are also great entertainment. I always get lots of pleasure remembering my dreams and keeping track of them. Throughout my life, dreams have also helped me sort out a lot of problems and helped me see where I wanted to go with my life.
In a world dominated by doing things, it’s hard to remember that we also live another life while we sleep.
Not everyone thinks that dreams are essential, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t. You could argue that people not valuing their dreams is the reason we have so many problems in the world today, but that’s another article for another day. For now, remember that sleeping is not a waste of time, it is imperative.
What are you doing to ensure you get enough sleep? Or why aren’t you getting enough sleep, what is your excuse?