Sleep is important, but we don’t know what exactly happens during it. At least, I don’t know.
Everyone tries to be so smart about sleep. I tried too. I have read article after article (most of them were quite poor, to be honest) and spent some time reading studies behind them. Why? To understand? Probably just to hack it.
When another ‘productivity’ blog post comes out, and it mentions waking up earlier or setting up an alarm clock, I close it. It’s not a productivity hack; it’s a path to lower your creativity, performance and quality of life to gain additional minutes spent in a sleep-deprived state. I hate being sleep deprived.
It wasn’t always like that. I kind of get used to that. I kind of liked it. I couldn’t even recognise that I’m sleep deprived. Until I finally caught up with sleep. 2-3 weeks of sleeping as much as I could without an alarm clock. Then, for the first time in my adult life, I had a comparison. Now I know when I’m sleep deprived, even a little. I know that when I’m fully regenerated, I’m unstoppable in terms of my life energy and brain performance.
I found this article very interesting: Good sleep, good learning, good life. It’s very long and very good. The main thing I remember from it is that the healthiest thing you can do is to sleep without an alarm clock for as much as you want when you want. If only you can combine it with your duties towards a family, an employer and a society… The article deals with many myths about sleep like polyphasic sleep (humans are not adapted to it in general) or with sleeping for multiplication of 1.5 hrs to feel the best (no, sleeping three hours is not better than sleeping eight simply because three is a multiplication of 1.5 and eight is not).
It’s still unknown (at least to me) what exactly happens when you sleep but it’s important for your health. I would probably sacrifice my sleep for my family, catching up an early flight or train, even for a meeting with friends when it’s past my bed-time. I won’t sacrifice it for the sake of ill-understood productivity.
Sleep is one of the fundaments of happiness. I made it my priority.