I don’t need a lot of sleep. That does not surprise me because my father does not need a lot of sleep either. Usually about 5.5 hours is enough for me. If I go to sleep at midnight or 1am, I am usually wide awake at 6 or 6:30am and I start my day with everyone else. If I fall asleep at 10pm, however, I usually find myself wide awake before 4am, staring at the ceiling.
That,s when I start my day ahead of everyone else.
If you are a heavy sleeper and you know you need 8 or 9 hours of sleep per night, you can move on. You won’t get a lot out of this column. On the other hand, if you are tossing and turning in the wee small hours of the morning, or you find yourself channel surfing for half the night, ask yourself why you do those things and read on.
You are given a finite amount of time during your day, your week, your year, your lifetime. Most of us spend about a third of that time lying in bed, either sleeping (which is good) or just lying there because it is nighttime and that is where we are “supposed” to be (which is not always good). If you are spending more time in bed than you need, you are wasting a big chunk of your life.
Think about everything that you wish you had the time to accomplish during the day and consider why you do not do these things at night. No time to read? Get up early and read. No time to finish the laundry, get up early and do the laundry and all of the other household projects that you have been unable to accomplish when the sun is shining. Falling behind at work? Be the guy who gets three hours of work done before anyone else gets to work. Go to the gym. Clip coupons. Study a foreign language. Whatever. Don’t just do something. Accomplish something.
There is enough time in the day to achieve the things that you want to achieve as long as you look for the empty spaces in which you accomplish nothing and then turn those empty times into productive times. Whether you are looking for ways to make money, or to save time or just to get through projects that will give you more time later when you need it, you need to maximize the time available to you for the things that you want to do — the things that will satisfy you.
If you take those early morning hours and turn them into productive time a few days a week, not only will you get more done and feel better about yourself, but you will also sleep better the next night. As Ben Franklin once said, “Fatigue is the best pillow.” In other words, hard work is the best way to make sure you sleep well at night.
What would you like to accomplish? Could you achieve your goals by getting up a little bit earlier each day? Do you feel that you need more sleep than other people and that it holds you back?