ON SLEEP

The commencement speaker when I graduated from university was Mr. Daniel McCauley of McDan Shipping. He said something to the effect that if you weren’t sleeping for four hours you are not working hard enough.

This fetish of sleeping for few hours is problematic. It could also be that I am saying this because I am unable to do it. I think it is problematic because it is unsustainable. I am tempted to think that people who make such claims are bragging. Good habits should be reiterative. Sleeping for four hours isn’t repeatable for an extended time. You begin to feel very uncomfortable. Your attention isn’t rapt.

This idea of sleeping less pushes us to think time spent sleeping is wasted. It isn’t ! The body needs rest. It is best to see sleeping as a necessary exercise to revitalise the body. This doesn’t mean we should spend all our time sleeping. That is clearly unproductive. Doing the opposite of not having enough sleep is also ultimately unproductive. This is the problem with extreme ideas ; they hardly work.

Some productive people are coming around this idea. I can mention two sure examples- Naval Ravikant and Jeff Bezos. They both sleep for 8 hours. I believe Bill Gates too. I think it was mentioned in the documentary series about him Inside Bill’s Mind. Even Elon Musk is coming around the idea. He said recently on the Joe Rogan Show that he sleeps for 6 hours, and anything less is counterproductive. This speaks to enough sleep. We find out intuitively the hours of sleep that doesn’t make us feel like zombies. For me it’s 7 hours.

Of course, sometimes you can have tasks to perform that doesn’t allow you to have enough sleep. This is understandable as it’s temporary.

Thank you for reading.

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