The lost art of sleep.
Written: 09-13-2013

There is no doubt that with the ability to keep all the lights on, have a screen lite up in your face and mindless consumption of entertainment it can be very easy to lose sleep.  I would estimate that over 75% of the people I know discuss or admit that they probably don’t get enough sleep.  50% of those people complain that they can’t get enough sleep.  (Those %’s are made up and very loose estimates, not real polling I do with everyone I talk to).

The majority of excuses I hear about the lack of sleep relates to being too busy or working too much.  There are also a good portion of people that say they have difficulty finding ways to have better sleep.

I won’t say that all those people are not telling the truth or that they haven’t worked at making their sleep a priority, because I know people that work two jobs and others that have legitimate sleep issues.  But, the lack of sleep for many is directly related to the priority placed upon it.

A great example is me as I’m writing this post.  I’ve been thinking about writing it for an hour now, but get distracted with twitter posts, husker football blogs and now I’m just sleepy. I feel like I need to do something, as I have a lot of creativity and value to add in the next day – but the reality is I’m doing nothing much of value now.  And even what I am putting out is taking way too long because being focused is so difficult.

An interesting observation, that is not a new concept in the least, is that the most productive (and I might say successful) are those I know personally who get to bed every night at a decent time and wake up fairly early.

While I struggle at times getting to bed, I do know that because of Nikki we have a place that was built for sleeping and nothing else.  Here are some things about our bedroom that might be useful for you:

– There are no screens. I tried for a tv, but Nikki said no. I try and use my ipad and Nikki is quick to make it stop.  It’s a good thing because it makes sleeping so much easier.

– The windows are completely dark.  If needed, you could go into our bedroom and sleep at 3pm and never realize it was daylight outside, it’s a function of the location of the window, the blinds and the curtains.

– It’s cool.  The bedroom is in our basement, which is often a bit cooler than the rest of the house.  When I go to bed it often feels a little chilly, but it makes it much easier to sleep well.

– The bed is comfortable.  We probably need to replace the mattress in the near future, but I love going to sleep at home.  The mattress and the bedding seems to be the right combination for me.

If I could change one thing, I would try and limit all the extra things that are in our bedroom.  For example, we don’t have a laundry room so clean and dirty clothes sit in our bedroom.  It seems petty, but some nights it causes enough distress I go to bed frustrated I didn’t get it all done that day.

The ability to get adequate sleep is more often a matter of developing solid habits and creating a good environment.  I believe that it’s less about the outside situations we like to often blame.