Any time that my life starts to get busy, the first thing that I cut out of my life is sleep. I tend to be a night owl, and some of my most productive hours of the day tend to be from 12:00 – 04:00. Unfortunately for me, the rest of the world does not seem to share my affinity for the wee hours of the morning. So as things in my life start to pile up my days tend to stretch later and later, while my mornings start around the same time the rest of the world wakes up.
This is certainly not a new occurrence in my life. I have been working at these kinds of hours since I was in high school. However, the older I get, the more I begin to notice how my lack of sleep affects the rest of my life. As an athlete, practices feel longer, and my body seems to need more time to recover from what would normally routine training. As a student, my attention span wanes; I find myself not paying attention during lectures, and procrastinating more. Even as a friend or teammate, I find that I am more irritable when I do not get enough sleep, becoming quicker to lash out or make some underhand comment to someone who– for the most part– doesn’t deserve it.
So, how can I balance my own natural affinity for early hours of the morning with everything that I need to get done in my life? To be completely honest I wasn’t sure before this blog post. But, having done a few quick google searches into what some sleep experts would recommend, it seems they all seem to think that someone of my age, and with the amount of physical activity that I engage in would need between 7-9 hours every night. They also say that one of the easiest things to do to accomplish this is to get into a habit of going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. They also recommend that in the hour or so leading up to bed that the blue light from screens be avoided, or at least filtered with an app that reduces the blue light from laptops and phones.
To answer my own question, I am not sure if I will be able to keep working late at night. To date, it hasn’t become a huge problem for me. I am only now noticing the effects more than I did in my early years; however, it is definitely something I will have to keep my eye on as I progress into the next phase of my career and life.