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  • Cynthia Veniot

Sleep is for the Weak


More anger stems from lack of sleep than from all of life’s frustrations.”

- D. Sutten

Despite the wealth of information that tells us how important sleep is to our physical, spiritual, mental and emotional well-being, adequate sleep is becoming harder to get in this day in age.

Prevalent cultural norms suggest that sleep deprivation is crucial to success and achievement. This sleep-be-damned approach would propose that those who prioritize their to-do list versus sleep are more likely to succeed. This thought process argues that more hours awake equals more time to focus on the things that will help you thrive, which for some, may translate in making more money.

Sleep deprivation may also stem from the pressure that some place on fulfilling the responsibilities tied to their various life roles. These people want to fit it all in – in other words, be the best student, employee, friend, spouse, daughter/son, sister/brother, etc.

The cost of lost sleep is profound. Ineffectiveness, moodiness, low energy, unhealthy eating/lifestyle habits, and headaches are a few of the early signs that you are consistently lacking sleep. More serious mental illness, such as generalized anxiety and depression, may follow suit if a change in sleep habits is not soon realized.

Overworking and getting less than the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep has, in some circles, become a collective delusion of success, and in other circles, a “necessity” to getting it all done. My goal in writing this piece is to help broaden our definition of success to include caring for ourselves and our mental well-being. Even though we have increasing responsibilities, and our drive to accomplish it all is powerful, denying ourselves adequate sleep will inevitably have harmful consequences.

I believe that we could all become more mindful of our sleep practices and I hope to raise awareness of how getting enough sleep, among many other things, can help you connect more deeply with yourself and with others.

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