I'm not a good sleeper. No matter what time I've gone to bed, how dark it is outside, or how warm and cosy my room is, I wake up at 5:10 each morning and rarely manage to get back to sleep. It's hugely tedious and tiring (although frustratingly not tiring enough to pop back into the land of nod).
I was talking about it the other day with a friend. "Ah well, sleeping is cheating" I said and I laughed it off. I've no idea where the phrase comes from, but my friends and I used to say "sleeping is cheating" a lot in our early twenties; competing to be the bigger party animal or the "stronger" person.
But it got me thinking. Sleeping is not cheating. Sleep is one of our most fundamental basic human needs. Sleeping is not cheating at life, it's not a sign of weakness and it doesn't mean you don't know how to have fun. And proving that you can keep on going without it doesn't make you a better/more likeable person. So why did we say that? Perhaps one-upmanship at a stage of life where we're still trying to work out who we are and where we fit. But at what cost? And did we really need to prove ourselves that way?
I then started wondered what else we cheat ourselves out of. Waking rest and relaxation? Good nutrition? Positive and supportive relationships? Each one is equally essential for the smooth running of our brains and bodies. And yet so often we keep going, keep pushing ourselves to be bigger/better/stronger, chastising ourselves when we're not and ignoring the subtle or obvious signs that we need some time for ourselves.
And at the end of the day, we're only truly accountable to ourselves. We have to do this for us, so we can also give to those around us. So, don't cheat on yourself. You're worth more than that.
A Moodscope member.