Necessity of Sleep

When I”m overloaded with work, the first thing I do is cut short my sleep. Waking doesn’t require an alarm clock, I have cats who believe that first light means food.  The earlier the sun comes up, the earlier I get up.

6a0120a55c9cd1970c015436657463970c-320wiTrouble is, I’m a night person. I can easily work till past midnight, but not if I am up at first light, now happening around 5 a.m.

I cannot burn the candle at both ends any more. Sure, it makes a lovely light, but a lovely light is no longer enough. I need combustion to fuel the day. So, I’m forcing the discipline of an earlier bed time. It’s much harder then I imagined, but it’s necessary.

Self-discipline is rarely amusing or fun. But it is the heart of success, whatever your success might be. Without a good rest, without rich and complex dreams, we become sleep-starved and snappish. It’s harder to think, to plan, to appreciate, to imagine the future. It’s impossible to concentrate, or do good work.

Unfortunately, I simply can’t live on five hours of sleep. I need seven, and eight is welcome.

Knowing what you need and giving it to yourself is not self-indulgence. It is a discipline. And it sounds strange to give yourself what you need and call it discipline. Discipline sounds like denying your self something you want.

What discipline do you need to nurture yourself with?

—Quinn McDonald is deeply glad it’s Friday. It’s been a long, tough week.