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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

If you read my blog post from last week Is the Pursuit of Writing Excellence to be Enjoyed and then hop over to some of my friends blogs like Rosslyn Elliott, Are You Fast Enough For Your Deadline?, and Mike Dellosso, The Contract: Blessing or Curse? you might see why I'm so preoccupied with the need for sleep. This is not an easy road even though we all love it. Writing to deadline is very challenging. So as a way of meeting that challenge we all need to evaluate how sleep plays into what we are or are not creating.

We all need sleep. There's days I wish I didn't have to sleep because there is so much to be done, but sooner or later the mind and body call me to sleep. Of course I try to cheat my need for sleep now and then by drinking my coffee. Read this article on Caffeine and Sleep Is it worth it?
I'm currently blessed to be on an eight week break from the college where I work. I've rediscovered that I'm not a morning person. I've tried and tried to become one without success. I'd love to be able to get up at five am and write, walk, and wonder how I did that, but I've never been very good at keeping that schedule for more than a couple of days. What I have discovered is that I get most of my writing done in the afternoon and the evening. So I'm finally coming to terms with that. But now that I'm on break I'm staying up till one and two o'clock in the morning. Not good. Not for me anyway. I'm going to pay the price when I return to my day job unless I start adjusting that schedule as I get closer to returning to my counseling position.

You all know how much better you feel when you have enough sleep. I'm a full-time counselor for nursing students and I'm a writer, wife, and mom. If I don't get enough sleep I don't function to the best of my ability in any of these roles. Yet there are times when I push past my need for sleep which typically leads to getting sick.
It seems that many are sleep deprived today and that's why I want to challenge you to study up on the importance of sleep and encourage you and your families to get enough rest. These Sleep Facts may help you sort things out.

Some of us deal with insomnia and others with sleep apnea. Some of us can't sleep because our spouses are snoring or our spouses can't sleep because we are snoring. Others take medicine to help them sleep and some have no problems getting to sleep. If you have trouble sleeping try listening to The Music Box Lullaby

And then there are more dangers behind the wheel with those of us who don't get enough sleep.

Sleep Deprivation Risks: 1 in 20 Fall Asleep at Wheel, CDC SaysMore Than One-Third of Americans Say They Get Fewer Than 7 Hours of Sleep a Night

Unhealthy Sleep Habits This segment aired on ABC World News last night (3/3/11).

I wish our entire country would just take naps in the afternoon at work. Wouldn't that be nice? So when is the last time that you took a nap, had trouble sleeping, or just wished you could capture some more zzzzzzz's?  

Proverbs 3:24 ESV reminds us: If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

I'm adding this video link on 6/30/11 about the positions we sleep in and our personalities. :) Sleep personality What's yours?

If you could have an extra 24 hours added to your week for just this week, how would you spend it? What hours of the day do you write best? If you're not a writer, what hours of the day are you most productive?

Wishing you wonderful nights of sweet summer slumber.


  1. I do love a good frenzy of writing until one in the morning! I still indulge once in a while. But overall, I've learned that the best thing I can do for myself in all my roles is protect my sleep, and the best way to protect my sleep is getting exercise. I used to think I was somehow the "winner" if I stayed up late and proved I was too busy to exercise. Now I have a bedtime. So I'm going to get off blogs and observe it! Or maybe I'm just getting old. Sweet dreams.

  2. Hi Olivia,
    Dare I say with age comes wisdom? I admit it. I've pushed myself further than is healthy at times, I guess most of us have. Protecting your sleep with exercise is smart. Those of us who have sedentary jobs, writing, counseling, etc. really have to find the time to exercise. I know I end up with lower back pain when I don't stretch and exercise. So we learn from our past mistakes and we're healthier for it.

  3. I've never been an early morning person. Even if my body has to be up early, my mind takes another hour to begin functioning. My most productive writing time is late at night, but as I've gotten older I find I can't stay up night after night as much as I use to. I'm one who believes in the "butt in chair" policy, so if I have writing to do I sit down as soon I have a suitable block of time and make sure I get it done... morning, afternoon or evening (and still the occasional late night).

  4. It's so funny that I'm reading your post now, Carol. It's 3:12am and I can't sleep! So I'm working on the book and blogs, etc. I wonder what time I'm going to be able to get up today. :) Like you, even when I'm up early my mind takes longer to shift into gear.
    Happy 4th!

  5. Thanks for the shout out! I am very committed to sleep. I do not function well at all when sleep-deprived. Like you, I often get sick if I don't get my hours of zzzzs. And there's nothing like the deep sleep after a lot of exercise.

  6. Hi there Rosslyn,
    Your welcome. I don't know if you've experienced this lately but I've noticed that I've had more trouble sleeping the past couple weeks as I work on my revisions late at night. Can't shut my mind off. So now I'm trying to make sure I leave some time to relax and read or watch TV before I go to bed.