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The value of sleep – Nerdful Mind #110

February 20, 2022 by Simon Mannes

There was a time in my life when I slept 6–6.5 hours a night for weeks on end.

I thought I could do that, and that the extra hours were worth sleeping less.

Oh boy was I wrong..

I underestimated how important sleep really is. Here's the impact bad sleep duration and quality have on our life:

  • You're in a worse mood. Sleeping less leads to being more irritable and to lose temper more often.
  • Your body is less capable. Your muscles become tired more quickly, you feel pain more intensely, ….
  • You have a harder time concentrating and are less capable of making high-quality decisions.

Sleep is our repair mechanism for body and mind. Our muscles rebuild and our brains form new connections.

Sleep is also not only about refueling, it further brings us new ideas and solutions.

But nonetheless, we sleep too little.

I know many people, ambitious or not, who don't sleep for 8 hours every night. Yes, sometimes life gets in the way. We need to finish chores around the house in the evening and need to get up early the next morning for our job. That simply happens.

But there's a huge difference in mindset.

We either see sleep as a luxury or as a necessity. And we prioritize it accordingly.

”It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.” — John Steinbeck

Read more about sleep on this website from the sleep foundation (incl. sources).

Reading Recommendations

Simplifying Our Mental View

“I’ve found that nearly all of us make things harder and more complicated, by adding a mental layer of difficulty. We make simple things complicated: Overwhelm: Doing one task at a time is pretty simple, but we get overwhelmed by all the things. We think about an entire list of things that we haven’t done yet, and we feel stressed about it, and end up feeling like we can’t do any of it.”

Sleep and Dreaming

This article is a breakdown of many things we know about sleep. Highly recommend it to learn more about that third of our lives we spend unconscious.

What does it mean to listen on a port?

“This story explores some concepts in computer networking, inspired by Michael Nielsen’s idea of discovery fiction. Code samples can also be found in this repo. Excerpts use openbsd-flavoured netcat on Debian Linux; behviour and IPv6 support may vary by version.”

Weekly Mindfulness Practice

Take a small piece of chocolate. How does it look like? Is it light or heavy? What does the surface feel like?

Now put it in your mouth. Keep it in your mouth until it has fully dissolved. Focus on the taste. What does it feel like?

This exercise brings our thoughts into the present moment. It is ok if your thoughts wander. Gently bring them back to what you are tasting.

End Note

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Have a great week

Simon

PS: What do you think about this? Please hit reply and let me know. I’m curious!

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