What happens when you do not sleep? Moreover, why do we need to do it? This post will explain the science of sleep: the cause, the benefits, and why you need it more than you think.
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The alarm rings and you sit up, what do you do? You have two choices:
1. Hit snooze or
2. Get up
You want to get up, but you just can’t. Why is it so hard to get up? You really wanted to get up and start your day off well. You planned a morning with purpose so your day has purpose. The alarm rings again. Now you have to get up because you are late. The first decision you made in your day you already regret because now you are hurried and the momentum of your morning will follow you all day. You rush out the door, tear down the freeway and weave past hundreds of cars. You are easily frustrated. You have no patience for people, computers, phones, reports, etc. You drop things. You forget appointments. You have a small fuse and little things set you off. And all you think about is getting back to bed. You even promise yourself you would go to bed early that night to get yourself back on track the next day.
According to new findings, more than a third of American adults hit the snooze button at least three times each morning, and more than half of people ages 25 to 34 press snooze daily. Furthermore, the snooze button will make you wake up sleepier then when you originally woke up.
(Click for study)
What you do in the first hour of your day sets the tone and direction for the rest of your day.
Here are four tips for having a great first hour of the day:
1. Get Things Prepared the Night Before.
Before you go to sleep, develop a routine. Get coffee in the pot with water and all you need to do is flip it on. Lay out your clothes. Make your lunch and put it in the fridge. Do everything you can so you don’t have to think or worry about it. Now you can relax and enjoy the morning.
2. Get Enough Sleep.
I have a few friends who are convinced they can live off of 4-5 hours of sleep a night. I once had a conversation with a lady who napped 2-3 hours a night and spent the rest of the time working. I am not making this up! Sleep is good. Think about it: when children are growing, they sleep more; when people get sick, they sleep more. Don’t underestimate your need to sleep. Get 7-8 hours of sleep. See how good you feel.
3. Slay your Dragons.
Take care of the important issues right away. Work out, read your Bible, eat breakfast, etc. Click here to read my post, How to Slay your Dragons. It’s a good one.
4. Use Your Time Wisely.
Have a game plan what you would like to accomplish before the morning begins. Have a routine you like. In my ideal first hour, I would get up on time, spend some time reading my Bible, get ready before my kids are up, help my wife get the kids ready for the day, and enjoy breakfast with the family. Doesn’t that sound nice? When I use every minute of my first hour, I am intentional with my time and my family, I can accomplish my goals and stay focused throughout the rest of my day. Now on the days this doesn’t happen, it’s usually because my first choice of the day was: hit snooze. Make the better choice – GET UP!
Harry S. Truman — 'Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.'
Are you a reader?
I once heard that in today’s world we learn and gather more information in two weeks then someone would have in his or her entire life in the 19th century. That’s astonishing. But the information we collect, is it all good information? Information is widespread across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Pintrest, the entire Internet, TV, etc. Is all of this useful information we are absorbing? Probably not.
Time is very valuable because there just isn’t a lot of it. It is hard to find time to read. My own personal goal is to read 30 minutes before I go to bed each night for a number of reasons, including getting a good night sleep.
According to a poll by the National Sleep Foundation, 95% of people use an electronic device within the hour before bed. Researchers caution that the artificial light from tablets and smartphones can suppress the release of the sleep hormone melatonin, preventing a good night’s sleep. "Electronics are ruining our sleep,” advises Dr. Lisa Shives, a medical expert for SleepBetter.org and founder of Northshore Sleep Medicine in Evanston, Illinois. “They just shouldn’t be in the bedroom. If you must have your iPhone nearby, find a charging station just outside the door.” Megan Kaplan wrote an interesting article on why reading before bed is a good thing.
One leader once told me they want to read but don’t know what? My answer, read something you like. Here is one recommendation that I highly recommend:
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Hailed as the top nonfiction book of the year by Time magazine
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for biography and
The Indies Choice Adult Nonfiction Book of the Year award
This book tells an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity. Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit. The story tells of Louis Zamperini, who as a boy had been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown eventually spending over 2 years in a POW camp in Japan.
Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.
This book is now going to be a major motion picture this year, written by Joel and Ethan Coen (writers and directors of No Country for Old Men, Fargo, Big Lebowski).
I have added a video that serves as a great introduction and epilogue to this incredible story. It speaks on the author’s relationship with Louie and portrays a man who heals from the power of forgiveness. Watch below and buy the book. You will not regret it.
Praise for the Book
“Extraordinarily moving . . . a powerfully drawn survival epic.”—The Wall Street Journal
“[A] one-in-a-billion story . . . designed to wrench from self-respecting critics all the blurby adjectives we normally try to avoid: It is amazing, unforgettable, gripping, harrowing, chilling, and inspiring.”—New York
“Staggering . . . mesmerizing . . . Hillenbrand’s writing is so ferociously cinematic, the events she describes so incredible, you don’t dare take your eyes off the page.”—People (four stars)
“A meticulous, soaring and beautifully written account of an extraordinary life.”—The Washington Post
“Ambitious and powerful . . . a startling narrative and an inspirational book.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Marvelous . . . Unbroken is wonderful twice over, for the tale it tells and for the way it’s told. . . . It manages maximum velocity with no loss of subtlety.”—Newsweek
What are you reading?
Add a comment or send me an email if you would like some suggestions.
I read many articles online about leadership. One article that I love is, Slay Your Dragons Before Breakfast. You can click here and read an article in its entirety. I have adjusted the ideas of the article to fit my life and platform, but the overall concept is mind blowing. I believe some of these ideas can be useful for you as well.
Every Morning I Wake Up To A Big Scary Fire-Breathing Dragon