Sleep is Important

Wanna know who my nemesis is? My ultimate rival? It’s Night-Time-Don. That guy is completely out to sabotage Morning-Don and Daytime-Don.

Let me tell you about Night-Time-Don. He eats like shit. He loves cookies, chips, beer, ice cream, and Halloween candy. And not just a little bit. Sometimes all of the above. Calories on top of calories, and sometimes more than one alcoholic drink and Night-Time-Don makes it impossible for Morning-Don to wake early and get the day started on the right foot.

Night-Time-Don is also like a spoiled child and refuses to go to bed. Not because he’s doing anything productive or is engrossed in a work project or an amazing book. Nope. Night-Time-Don stays up to watch mindless TV. To check Facebook. To watch sports. Games, in fact, that don’t even involve a team he roots for.

Night-Time-Don knows that Morning-Don and Daytime-Don need sleep to function at their peak performance levels. Morning-Don likes to wake up, drink some water. Put the dog on a leash. And then take a 1/2 hour power-walk. It’s good exercise for the dog and for Morning-Don and gets his juices flowing. He listens to a Podcast or, more often than that, he’ll meditate over the Rosary while walking. But when Night-Time-Don doesn’t head to bed until midnight(ish), well, Morning-Don can’t drag himself out of bed at 5 a.m. . . . nor 5:30 a.m. . . . and not even 6 a.m. Morning-Don, instead, hits the snooze and starts stressing about the day and cursing Nighttime-Don.

And don’t even get me started talking about Daytime-Don and how that guy curses the choices that Night-Time-Don makes and how disappointed he is in Morning-Don.

Daytime-Don, too often, finds himself tired, unfocused, and unable to cope with the tasks and demands of the day. Daytime-Don simply doesn’t function well on less than 7 hours of sleep. Well, you ask, why doesn’t Daytime-Don and Morning-Don agree to sleep-in until 6:30 or 7:00 a.m.  Ahem. Don (all versions) has kids and a morning routine. Morning-Don needs to shower and be ready for the day by 6:55 a.m. when he wakes his kids and starts their 6:55 a.m. to 7:40 a.m. morning sprint out the door. That’s non-negotiable. OK. Yes. Morning-Don could set his alarm for 6:45, spring out of bed, handle the morning routine of his kids, and then at 7:40 when they leave (along with his wife), take a walk, shower, and then head to work, but that’s not realistic either. His work-day starts at 8:30 a.m. Morning-Don’s commute is 25-minutes. So that means if Don waits until 7:40 to get ready, he only has 25-minutes to shower and leave his house by 8:05 a.m.

Working backwards. Let’s say Night-Time-Don could live with an 11 o’clock bedtime. In order to get 7 hours of sleep, he would need to sleep straight through to 6:00 a.m. So, yes, that’s an option and will be taken under consideration. But understand this. Morning-Don, not by choice, has a bad habit of waking up at 5 a.m. anyway. He’s not sure why this is. It just is.

The point is this: when Nighttime-Don isn’t so dang selfish and heads to bed at 9:45 and spends some time reading or listening to a Podcast, and gets to sleep by 10:15 or 10:30, and then wakes up at 5:00 a.m., it has a profound impact on Morning-Don and Daytime-Don.

Wow. What a long blog entry. Nobody read it, I’m sure of that. But if they did, they know all I’m doing is beating myself up about the fact I stay up too late and then fail myself by neglecting my morning routine and lacking energy and focus throughout the day. Everything suffers when Don (all versions) neglect sleep, which is really neglecting his brain.

“Early to bed. Early to rise. Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”  -Ben Franklin

How come nobody lives by that, anymore? You can’t Google search “morning routines” or “power of sleep” without reading about the benefits. Damn you, Night-Time-Don.


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