Build the Business of Your Dreams

Welcome to the Cranking Widgets Blog. We exist to help you get more done by showing you ways to be more effective and let go of the stuff that doesn't make you awesome. Be sure to subscribe to our feed and follow us on Twitter here.

Why I Sometimes Choose Living Over Sleeping

Sleep

I’ll tell you right now, I rarely get enough sleep (assuming “enough” sleep is 8 hours per night). On the average night, I’ll get 5-6 hours of sleep, and sometimes it’s less than that. And It’s not because I can’t sleep – I hardly ever have trouble falling asleep. No, whenever I stay up past my bedtime, I’m usually doing it for a very specific reason…

I don’t know why, but this is how I’ve been for as long as I can remember. Sleep was always a necessity, but never in a very immediate sense. I’ve been willing to forgo sleep in favor of other things for most of my adult life, a practice that (gone unregulated) can cause some serious problems. Poor performance at work, adverse health effects, etc. just to name a few. Why do I do this to myself?

Well, truth be told, I’m something of a romantic (but not in the sense you probably think). Hopefully, after reading this list, you’ll understand what I mean (but don’t worry – I’ll revisit the ‘romantic’ deal again at the end). So, here are the things for which I will happily and readily skip sleep:

  1. Family and Friends – Ok, so this one is a gimmie. If my wife and I are talking or my son has a cold and can’t sleep, I’ll stay up as last as I have to. If a friend needs my help with something (either his computer is busted or his girlfriend is driving him nuts, whatever) – my family and friends are my most important and highest priority, so I never mind when this type of thing comes up.
  2. Good Conversation – This used to happen quite a bit before we starting having kids, but I’ve spent many nights sitting at a bar or coffeehouse or something and have the person working there say something like, “dude, we closed 30 minutes ago – you need to leave”. Or maybe a friend and I will be chatting away about something and I’ll look down at my phone and see 2:00 am staring back at me. Most of the time, I really don’t care when these things happen. Worst case, I’m tired the next day at work. But I’m tired for what I consider to be a very good reason – investing in a relationship or just plain having fun.
  3. Good Book – No matter what book it is, I suddenly shed all sense of adult responsibility when reading something I really like. This is actually one of my fool-proof methods for determining how much I’m enjoying a particular book : would I kiss off a night’s sleep just to finish this? Obviously, the answer is usually no. But sometimes it isn’t and I’m usually happy I skipped the sleep.
  4. Good Idea – For me, designing and writing computer programs is more than just a job. It’s something I did for fun for many years before doing it professionally. So, I still do a good bit of programming in my spare time for odd projects (like Winstikker or the Two Minute Timer). And if I am really on a tear with a particular project, I’ll look up at 1:00am and scoff, barely breaking stride as I type my code at breakneck speeds. These types of situations are fairly infrequent, but they do pop up on occasional and are usually somewhat unexpected.

I guess I just find sleep to be a completely expendable activity (at least, when faced with something more worthwhile). In a weird way, I really celebrate my decidedly irresponsible behavior. Because I know that when I’m 75 with one foot in the grave, I won’t be thinking to myself “Man, I wish I had skipped all those great nights with friends an slept more…”. So, I guess that’s what I mean by ‘romantic’. I like knowing that when given the option between living life and a couple hours sleep, I almost always choose to live life.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

If you enjoyed this post…

You'll love getting free and freeing updates when we post new articles.
Enter your email below:

Search the Site