In today’s modern times, a lot of people choose to ditch sleep so they can do other things. We tend to glorify sleeplessness as if it is a testament to how hard working we are. It makes it appear that we are willing to sacrifice a bodily function so we can be more productive, which, of course, isn’t always the case. What we need to do is to stop glorifying sleep deprivation right now. It’s not good and it could hurt you.
The Elitism of Sleep Deprivation
The common idea among many is that if you don’t sleep, you do more. Being too busy for sleep is typically lauded in corporate environments because, for some, it showcases just how industrious you can be. If you don’t sleep, it should mean that you’re working on something else. And working on so many things tend to make some people feel so important and valuable.
For many, it’s their competitiveness that drives them to forsaking sleep. By thinking that if they work more, they’re automatically better than everyone else, sleep is just an easy casualty in reaching their goals. This, in turn, makes them respect others who are like-minded, spreading the idea that if you want to keep up with your top performing colleagues, you better be ready to miss out on some zzz’s.
The Problem with Not Sleeping
While being productive and being able to accomplish a lot of things in a day are all great, sacrificing sleep for it will have its own repercussions. First off, sleep deprivation will eventually get to you. As Ariana Huffington, founder and Editor-In-Chief of The Huffington Post, recounts her ordeal with sleep deprivation, it made her ask whether her collapse due to exhaustion is what success is all about.
Honestly, we don’t have to detail why not sleeping enough is bad for you. We’ve talked about it countless of times in this blog, so all you need to do is click on our sleep deprivation tag and you’ll see just how awful not getting enough zzz’s will do to your body. This makes it even more awful that so much people are praising those who don’t like to get ample shuteye, thinking that the less they succumb to this bodily need, the more wiser, more productive, or better person they are.
The Case of Short Sleepers
This doesn’t mean, however, that you should sleep long hours as there are people who doesn’t need as much hours in bed as others tend to do. Commonly referred to as natural “short sleepers,” these folks are genetically wired to need less sleep. Sadly, not everyone who thinks they’re one of these folks are actually short sleepers. Out of 100 people who claim they don’t need as much sleep as others do, only 5 are actual short sleepers.
How do you know if you’re one of these rare breed of short sleepers? Experts note that some of their characteristics include:
- They only sleep for about 4-6 hours at night and don’t take naps or rely on coffee to stay awake during the day.
- They’re usually nocturnal, dozing off after midnight and waking up before sunrise.
- Always upbeat and optimistic.
- Have fast metabolisms, which is in complete contrast to those who are sleep deprived who are most likely to become obese.
- Their unusual sleep patterns go back to their early years. Some are even reported to stop napping as early as the age of two.
- Could have hypomania.
- The need for less sleep also typically runs in the family, so if a parent doesn’t need to sleep a lot, their child has a likelihood to require less zzz’s as well.
- Some short sleepers have a gene variation that could be the culprit for their need for less sleep.
Bottom Line: It’s Bad for You
Just, please, get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation is bad for you, as well as glorifying it, as it propagates the idea that sleep is a dispensable activity. Just go to sleep. There are more benefits to sleeping than missing out on it, so please just get some shuteye. Sure, you can argue that staying awake lets you do more, but we can counter that with two questions: do you really need to do all of it on your own? Can’t you just do everything you need to do with better time management?
As yourself these questions and you might just realize that you can get some zzz’s and still get ahead in your field.