On Sleep

First, let me first say how much I value my sleep. Secondly, I gotta say I love naps more than just about anyone I know. 

I'm kinda like a grandpa (in many ways) and go to bed early and rise before dawn these days. I nap early & I nap often. Here's the thing, though, I rarely if ever set alarms.

I go to sleep when I'm tired & I wake up when I'm rested. I listen to my body. I'm on a pretty natural circadian schedule. I'll sometimes still set an alarm when I really have a thing I don't want to worry about missing (like work, a class or SAR training or mission), but 90% of the time when I do set an alarm I awake before it anyway. And almost all of those times are for things before 06:00 anyway, so most days it really isn't even necessary or a consideration.

I attribute this to being in tune with and having developed the ability to listen to my body. I don't stay up late for staying up late's sake. I read most evenings and limit screen time. My favorite hour is 04:00-05:00 whether I'm going to the gym, writing or doing other work. 

I tend to prefer focused, creative work this early in the morning when my mind is fresh and the world is yet to start rolling.

Take a look into this topic from any myriad of sources and you'll find just about every different type of advice you could imagine. From always get 8+ hours, to our President's 4-hour sleep habit, to the segmented sleeping schedules of many high performers to a regular short napping philosophy and on and on.

I don't prescribe to any of these specifically, but I do find that each of them can be effective & incorporated into my patterns. Sometimes, life is full and I don't have time to sleep as long as I'd like. I'll awake not fully rested if I have something to do. I make up for it with naps and recalibrating myself. I no longer go on for extended periods of sleep deprivation, because when I did it affected me in every area of my life and health.

The waking have one common world, but the sleeping turn aside each into a world of his own.
— Arianna Huffington

Today, for example, as I write this, I've been sitting in a 24-hour diner since just after midnight and been here for four hours or so. I fell asleep last night sometime before 8:00 pm or so and slept till midnight and woke up refreshed. Since the options then became sleep more for sleep's sake or get up and go work, read, write, study that's what I chose to do. I feel good about the decision as I got a ton done and feel ahead on a bunch of things.

Later today, after some morning meetings and a lunch appointment, I'll likely lay down for an hour or so and nap. But even that's really just subject to the way my body feels. 

I seek to always be improving and growing and to you would ask: Are you listening to your body? How does your sleep life look? Do you find yourself continually exhausted & caffeine dependent? Or are you on a pretty good routine that provides for adequate rest and refresh in your days? What are you improving in this area?

If there's anything I'm not, it's a sleep expert. I may be able to consider myself a nap aficionado, but that's about it. 

Books, naps, fireplaces & blankets. That's my jam.