It should be absolutely bloody obvious that sleep matters. It’s a natural part of our day, when the body packs in and recharges for the next onslaught. Depending on who you are, you may be able to get by with various amounts of sleep, and I’ve always envied those who don’t seem to need as much.
If you don’t need very much sleep then you can get more done. That’s the way I see it. A rule of thumb is that you use an equal amount of your time per day sleeping, playing and working. To those of you challenged in mathematics, that’s eight hours of each.
I reckon I’m an average kind of a guy. I’m not particularly short or tall, and I reckon I need about eight hours sleep or nine if I can. The problem is that eight hours sleep a day feels even more unrealistic than when I wrote, all that time ago, of writing five books a year.
The annoying thing is that when I don’t sleep, I find it incredibly hard to then discipline myself the next day to write. I just can’t get into it. If I get six hours sleep, or maybe even less, it’s curtains.
I’m not really a procrastinator by filling my time with other stuff, instead I just stare vacantly at the computer screen. For hours, I can just stare, knowing that I should write something but for the life of me I can’t imagine anything. I just sit and waste time, and that then really annoys me because I hate wasting time.
The worst part about this whole sorry business is that I know the obvious answer to the issue. I NEED MORE SLEEP. I need to get to bed earlier and wake up refreshed and exuberant. But then I would be compromising those magical nights which give me the inspiration for the imagination. Going out is part of who I am, I’ve always been sociable and I love people.
In other occupations, I’ve been able to simply turn up the next morning and spend a few hours settling into the day, but as a writer I don’t feel as though I have that luxury. The self-discipline required means that you have to be fully motivated.
If I didn’t have a family life to obstruct me then I’d be able to sleep until lunchtime. Wouldn’t that be easier? Of course not, for a whole host of other reasons. The only thing for it is to promise myself that I’ll start getting more sleep when I have the opportunity to.
I’ve just realised how incredibly old I must now sound in this post. A few years ago my bouncebackability was stronger and now I guess I just need to be aware that I’m no spring chicken anymore. Bummer.
Until next time…
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