The Best (and your favorite) Advice You’ve Ever Been Given – Sleep More

The two most important things I schedule - the stuff I'm never supposed to move? ME TIME and SLEEP TIME.

Tom Brady, arguably the greatest quarterback of ALL TIME sleeps 9 hours every night. Now, for most people, myself included, that should piss you off. My reasons for being so angry list as follows. 

Hi

1​. I’m a Payton Manning fan. I loved that overprepared, first in, last out mentality. He wasn’t cool, he knew that… and to me that made him cool. I would rather pick the gunslinger/playboy mentality of Joe Namath, arguably one of the coolest dudes to ever play the game. Even with those knee bracers. I think about Sunny Jorgenson throwing the ball behind his back like 75 yards (ok… something like that) I remember the grittiness of players like Farve or Young or Elway. Even Brady’s idol, Montana, seemed to have a little bit more to me. But where Bradshaw had that cannon, where Unitus had that military class. Where Brees has that Sniper like precision, Brady just has something that – Je ne sais quoi – hmmmthat X-factor. It’s the Michael Jordan clutch, ice water in the veins, banging supermodels while winking into the camera. He just… wins. Maybe that’s why he sleeps so soundly every night? 

According to hollywood, the list looks a little more like this. Can you name these greats?

2​. I wish to GOD I had that much time in the day.

Whereas fact one doesn’t fit into this blog, (and is HEAVILY BIAS) I can with one hundred percent assuredness tell you that you have that much time in the day.  

This is what our topic is on today. Smile, this is an excellent post to read. You get to sleep more, doctors orders!

W​hen I was a little younger I remember thinking it was cool to say that I didn’t get a lot of sleep. Hahaha, God, I’m such a dork. I remember watching something like The Lord of The Rings and watching Aragorn (played by the incomparable badass, Viggo Mortensen) and his sleep deprivation. The guy stays up all night to make sure the group is safe. What a BAMF! Now that might sound silly to… well it should sound silly to everyone. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I think this way. But I’m highly influenced by movies and TV. Maybe you aren’t… but just in case. 

Sleep deprivation isn’t cool. You’re not a badass because you pulled an all-nighter. You’re an idiot.

Sure, sometimes, you have to do that… BUT! Those times are few and far between! 

STOP PRETENDING YOU’RE THE EXCEPTION TO THAT RULE! 

You’re not… you just poorly plan, and you prioritize things that shouldn’t be high on your list. It’s ok to say “no” to your friend. Most of the time, the reason you have a hard time going to bed is that you’re watching tv or youtube. These are the folks that always say something like, “I just have a hard time falling asleep. Is it really crazy that your brain has a tough time settling down? I would bet you that if you turned off all the lights in the room and put the phone away an hour or so before you retire. You probably would realize you’re pretty freaking tired. Sure, maybe you try this, and you have a sleepless night. But if you did this three days in a row, there isn’t a doubt in my skinny body that you wouldn’t pass the hell out. 

L​et’s start with the good news

I​f you’re between the age of 13-18 you should be getting 8-10 hours of sleep 

REJOICE and realize that you’re not missing out on ANYTHING! Seriously, FOMO is a real thing and it rarely actually looks like what you’re thinking you’re missing out on. 

If you’re 19 and older, you should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep.

I could cry, I’m so happy. Now, many of us find it hard to find the time to make that happen. I’ve never had a child, so I get that me saying “just do it” is kind of a joke. BUT you kind of need to just do it. I don’t need to make a big deal about promising you that you will feel better. You already know you will. SO WHY AREN’T YOU DOING IT!!!

The #1 Reasoning

You think you’re too busy.

Ok, I am not near you. I have no idea what your day looks like. 

I can tell you what working a couple different part-time jobs, teaching guitar lessons, playing venues a couple times a week, managing a healthy relationship, writing a blog, reading a couple books every month, training for a marathon I’ll never run, playing guitar and practicing in multiple bands and keeping a healthy social life looks like… but I don’t know what your life looks like. 

I know I’m sounding like I’m patting myself on the back. Honestly, I need to cut back.

G​ah, instead of being condescending, let me tell you what’s helped me. I have learned the power of scheduling. I schedule EVERYTHING! The two most important things I schedule – the stuff I’m never supposed to move? ME TIME and SLEEP TIME. I’m not saying I never move these around. But these are some of the most essential things in my life. This makes me happy, it makes my life a good life. What the hell do I do during me-time? Anything I want. Mostly watch TV or play guitar, read… play my silly little Starwars game on my phone. This is not a reward for getting my to-do list done. BECAUSE NOTHING ON MY TO-DO LIST IS WORTH MY HAPPINESS. 

I​’m going to say that again.

NOTHING ON YOUR TO-DO LIST IS WORTH YOUR HAPPINESS. 

and

Nothing on that to-do list is worth the lack of sleep.

I​ know that you will think… yeah, but my grades are worth that lack of sleep. Or yeah, but money is worth sleep deprivation. But it’s not. 

Stop fooling yourself that it is. Because it’s not usually what this is all about. It’s about trading a social life for it, or it’s about trading binge watching Netflix for that, or about finishing that video game for sleep. 

The silly truth is that you’re not sleeping enough because you’re doing something useless. 

I​’m not saying your friends are useless… I mean, we all have that one friend (In my group, it’s me). I’m saying getting stoned with your buddies on the weekend is kind of useless compared to sleep. I’m saying watching The Romanoffs is useless. 

Go to bed. 

I​’m not trying to reinvent the wheel here. I also understand that your schedule might prevent you from getting your sleep. BUT what the hell kind of schedule is that? You’re not a slave to your schedule, to your aspirations. Life is a helluva lot longer than you think it is.

Let me be bold and say that if throughout the week, you are consistently only getting 5 hours of sleep. You are living life wrong. You need to drop something. You are not giving yourself the chance to even enjoy what you’re doing. So what THE HELL ARE YOU DOING!?!?! 

Does school keep you up late? Probably not, it is perhaps the fact that you’re trying to cram a social life into it. Maybe don’t take so many classes next semester. That doesn’t fit into your life plan, well you’re not going to have the energy to fulfill the rest of the plan if you’re not sleeping. 

Don’t trick yourself into thinking, “this is the way it has to be.” It’s not. If you don’t eat and drink, you die. If you don’t sleep, you don’t live! 

When you are well-rested, you are funny! You are sharp! You look better. You are better than you would be on any drug, you retain more, you are faster. You will enjoy the things you think you don’t like to do! You are happier! Sleep deprivation helps cultivate depression. You’re feeling down, the first thing you need to check is how much you’re sleeping. 

H​ere’s a video for those who don’t like to read.

I​ am very passionate about my sleep. I was not like this a few months ago. I have made sure I sleep 7-9 hours every night with VERY few exceptions, and I feel so much better than I did in the fog of sleep deprivation. I get SO MUCH MORE DONE! It’s stupid how much better life is. 

Now I’ll be the first to admit my schedule is WACK but my life kind of works that way! Instead of thinking, I need to fit myself in the box that everyone else fits in… I just embraced that this is how it is right now. I don’t go to bed at 3 am and wake up at 7 am. If I have something to do the next morning. I conk out early. I’m not perfect at it. But as soon as I made sleep a top priority in my life, my life changed for the better. 

Here’s the Bad News

Sleep deprivation greatly hinders your ability to create and retain memories. Cramming for that big test the night before might just be the worst possible thing you can do for your test scores.

If you needed another reason to want to sleep. Consistent sleep deprivation in your youth GREATLY increases your chance to develop dementia and Alzheimers later in life. Still not taking it seriously. This should get your attention. Sleep deprivation messes with your sex life. 

Yes, you have less virility when you are sleep deprived! 

Even just one night of 4-5 hours of sleep greatly reduces your immune system. It increases your risk of cancer (no shit! That is a stone-cold fact)

What I am trying to get at is… you have to sleep. Literally, nothing (outside of a child) is worth your lack of sleep. It’s not cool to pull an all-nighter, you’re not a badass for staying up late. You’re an idiot. You can’t fix the rest of this stuff with caffeine. Is that clicking? You are killing yourself is the lamest way possible! 

Once you realize that you’re not sleeping your life away. Once you realize that sleep is that extra little bit that makes life fun and worth living. Not a chore. Not how I use to think about it. Honestly, being sleep-deprived kind of makes you a zombie, so even though you were there… you were really “there.”

I’m not downplaying the fact that it’s really hard to make yourself sleep sometimes. But it’s the best thing for you! 


I want to give a quick shout out to Piktochart for giving me the template to create the info graph! These guys are awesome and if you’re needing any help with creating a poster, presentation, a special social media post, report, flier or an info graph… these guys should be your first stop! It’s free to use, but the $40 per year has up’d my game to a whole… ‘nother… level! Check them out a piktochart.com

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