Part Three of the Support Elements series.
I remember when I was a child, I loathed bedtime.
I would be put to bed around 8pm and for what seemed like hours I would lie wide awake. At some undisclosed time, I would fall asleep. But I remember the long nights and the incessant restlessness.
As I reached adolescence, I retained a poor attitude toward sleep. I thought it was a waste of time. I’ll sleep when I’m dead, is an age-old adage of the dedicated professional. In fact, there are many admirable men and women throughout history who are said to have slept minimally and yet achieved lofty goals.
Please watch this short video, straight from the heart, by Gary Vaynerchuk:
We Evolved To Sleep
Notwithstanding anecdotal experiences of successful icons, it took 3.5 million years for the human physiology to develop a 7-9 hour sleep cycle.
Unless it had a vital role in human evolution and survival, it would have been Mother Nature’s greatest mistake. Surely, 7-9 hours of wasted time by our ancestors would have been corrected.
Think of it – all night long, our ancestors would have been utterly useless. They could not reproduce. They could not procure sustenance. They would be vulnerable to attack from thier enemies and predators. And yet, the sleep cycle persisted.
However, within the last 100 years, we’ve decreased our sleep cycle by 20%.
Testosterone levels decrease in men whose sleep cycle is between five and six hours, even after only one night.
Athletes perform 20-30% better after a full night of sleep following a day of practice as opposed to a day of practice and inadequate sleep.
Less than 7 hours of sleep results in marked decreases in peak muscle strength, vertical jump, and peak running speed.
Risk of injury increases. In individuals sleeping 9 and 5 hours respectivley, it was found that there was a 60% increase chance for injury in the sleep deprived over a period of a full season.
Isometric muscles are also heavily impacted by both sleep quantity and quality. Poor stabilization is the cause for this increase in injury risk.
A Spiritual Connection
Today, we work longer hours than previous generations. We also face greater mental stress due to financial and (I believe) spiritual opposition.
We cannot sleep because we have traded a church of God for the church of consumerism.
…our daily rise to work is tied to our need to consume, and we are dedicated in our culture of consumerism.
– A Day of Labor
We arise from sleep and go to work everyday. We consume our morning coffee so that we can sufficiently generate output consumed by others, only so we may consume the output of others.
As I stated in the above cited blog post, It would seem we are a snake eating its own tail.
We are much like idle soldiers with rust on our rifles and rampant disease in our camp.
As soldiers, we might ask, Why do we fight?
Or, as consumers, Why do we wake up?
If we are waking up depressed and dissatisfied with our lives, we surely went to sleep exhausted and angry.
Perhaps our deficient sleep cycle is a product of our deficient waking cycle – our lives.
Mission Objective: Kill Idleness
I cannot express my feelings on the subject adequately through this medium of communication. But know that I believe we must eliminate idleness in our lives.
Idleness is not merely watching Netflix or surfing the web. It is also our attitude toward life – are we Getting After It? Are we excited about what we are doing with our lives?
Getting After It could mean:
Raising a family
“Crushing It” in a profession
Building up the Kingdom of God
All of these things, and so much more, could be the difference between leaping out of bed in the morning and hitting the snooze button for the second or third time.
Please, attain your Vision. Take up a Cause.
It is the only way to Victory. It is the only path to freedom.