The importance of getting enough sleep

Dear Daughter,

You come from a family of women who often choose productivity over sleep. We tend to put sleep on the backburner, because there are other, more important things to do, like laundry, dishes, doing our nails. I’m starting to learn, however, that sleep is much more important than I give it credit for. MAYBE even more important than nail polish, if you can believe it!

I tease J because he claims he simply cannot function unless he gets at least eight hours of sleep at night. Who gets eight hours of sleep anymore?! I’m lucky if I get six. And all this time I’ve been wearing that as a badge of honor. Look at me, I’m a busy woman. I don’t even have time to sleep because I’m so busy! But you know what? J might be onto something. He’s never, ever sick and he’s one of the most hard-working people I’ve ever met. Could it be due to the fact that he gets the proper amount of sleep?

It’s tricky, because most people truly don’t have eight hours to dedicate to slumber. We have so much to occupy our time these days. One of the reasons I don’t get enough sleep is because I wake up at 4:30 a.m. to write this blog. I don’t want to give up writing; to me that’s worse than giving up sleep (well, some days sleep wins). So how do I make it all work? How do I fit in all of my goals and desires while still getting enough sleep?

Just like everything else, it’s about choosing your priorities. There are some days when the laundry or dishes really can wait until the next day. If my priorities, my non-negotiables, every day are family time, writing, and eating (yes, food is that high on my list!), then everything else aside from those priorities should fall behind sleep.

That’s not to say we have a license for laziness either. Our waking hours should be spent wisely so that when we do go to sleep, we do so with the assurance that we’ve truly accomplished everything we could that day.

It’s important for you to learn this while you’re young, Daughter, so that you develop a good balance between sleep and productivity. I’m a firm believer that sleep (or the lack thereof) is directly related to your health, not to mention your mood. So if you make sleep a priority from a young age, you’ll be a healthier, happier person because of it.

All this talk about sleep has made me sleepy. I’m just gonna….zzzzzzzzzzzz

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