Maximise Your Potential

Amrit Sandhar

Want resilience? Get some sleep!

on May 30, 2013

Have you found yourself exhausted and irritable, wondering how much more of the week you can take? Then you remember, it’s only Monday! When my wife was on maternity leave, she would remind me (on many occasions!) how I was the lucky one, getting my full quota of sleep. In her eyes, sleep deprivation was the main reason new mothers suffered post-natal depression. She obviously doesn’t remember all the times I got up in the middle of the night, but far be it from me to remind her now! We got through those times and have three wonderful children who now run circles around us both.

I started this week in a mentally uncomfortable place. A 4am start, only to find the appointment I had (that I dashed over a hundred miles to get to on time), was cancelled 5 minutes before the meeting. This set the tone for the rest of the day. Every small thing just added to the pressure that was just building up. By 7pm, I was shattered and feeling grouchy. I needed some sleep! Our bodies tell us what we need, we just don’t always listen. On this day, I was listening. I went to bed. Despite sleeping in a hotel (the novelty wore off many years ago!), I managed to get at least 8 hours sleep. That’s a lot of sleep for me. But I obviously needed it. The next day, I woke up feeling so much better. I went into work, feeling brighter, happier and more focused. I faced the same things I faced the day before, yet I had more strength to deal with them. Ironically, I was the one, giving others’ advice on how to get through the day.

We look after our health as the last thing on the to-do list. Lunch is had, in a rush at our desks. We are constantly running around trying to get our work done. We come home and spend hours on our laptops. Our children have to send us messages through their gadgets, to engage with us (this hasn’t happened yet, but I fear it will). Our bodies need nurturing. Food is not just food for the body, but food for the soul. We need to feed our souls. This may be through time out to listen to some good music, read a good book, have a nice meal, or get a decent amount of sleep. Everyone knows sleep is important, yet it is the very thing we sacrifice, making everything else a priority…

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