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Finally, here's a simple, easy-to-follow, six-step program designed to make your sleeping hours more restful—and your waking hours more productive. Individualized to meet your specific needs, this revitalizing system empowers you to take control of your sleeping ...
Finally, here's a simple, easy-to-follow, six-step program designed to make your sleeping hours more restful—and your waking hours more productive. Individualized to meet your specific needs, this revitalizing system empowers you to take control of your sleeping patterns in order to:
Filled with humorous anecdotes and invaluable insights, as well as stress tests, self-quizzes, time planners, and more, The Sleep Management Plan will help you solve all your sleeping problems for good.
It all began with a casual conversation. A business acquaintance and I were discussing our mutual love of tennis. I confessed that I just couldn't find time to play anymore. He said he played twice a week. I knew he held a demanding position in a growing organization, was active in civic affairs, and very involved with his familyso I asked the obvious question: "How do you find the time?" I am not being overly dramatic when I say that his answer changed my life.
"I get up around 5 A.m. and play before my family's awake," he said. Doing a quick calculation, I asked my follow-up question: 'Then how much sleep do you get each night?"
He seemed a little embarrassed as he admitted that six hours was his normal amount of sleep. It didn't take me long to realize that this man had 2 more hours available to him each and every day than I did. While I was sleeping away he was already up, playing tennis, getting a head start on his work, doing whatever he wanted with his extra time. Each week he had 14 more hours than I did. Each month he had 60 more. Annually, the man was living an extra 700 hours while I was unconscious!
I had read every time-management book available. I faithfully carried my Filofax with me wherever I went. I made a daily to-do list. But it all seemed futile when I realized that this man lived a 13-month year. He had an extra month of waking hours available to him while I snoozed away. The realization aroused my competitive nature. But it also made me see that all the things I longed for - timefor myself, time for my family, time to just think - could be available to me if only I were lucky enough to sleep as little as my friend.
Luck was what I believed he had. After all, it didn't seem natural to sleep less than eight hours. He was probably doing terrible damage to his health, I reasoned. He might be taxing his heart unnecessarily I was certainly doing the right thing by sleeping 8 hours each night - or was I?
My friend looked healthy He seemed quite energetic and quickwitted, in fact. I, on the other hand, had been feeling increasingly sluggish and loved sleeping in on weekends whenever I had the opportunity. I assumed that the demands of work and the needs of 2 children were draining my energy. But what if I could find just an extra half hour in every day? Wouldn't that help ease the stress in my life and give me more energy?.
An extra half hour in each day would give me 15 "bonus" hours each month and 182 hours each year.
It seemed like a catch-22. I didn't have enough time to get everything done, so I felt stressed. But the more stress I experienced, the more I wanted - even needed - sleep. In a way my response to sleep was the same response I had to food. The more weight I gained, the more I sought comfort from food.
A month after my conversation with my tennis-playing friend, I was having a cup of coffee with a man who not only ran a publishing company, but was the author of several books himself. Since it was evening, I was drinking my usual cup of decaf. He, on the other hand, ordered regular coffee and drank 2 cups. 'Won't that keep you awake?" I asked.
"No problem," he said. "I usually stay up late and write. I've done most of my writing at all-night donut shops," I don't think I would have been more shocked if the man had confessed to some terrible crime. I'd known him for years. He'd taught me how to edit a magazine and we'd had dozens of philosophical discussions. But I never knew that he only slept so few hours each night. It seemed strange to think of this man sitting at the counter in a donut shop while most people were soundly sleeping. No wonder he accomplished so much!
The two conversations kept coming back to me. What if I didn't need as much sleep as I was getting? Was there a way to find time for tennis, for writing, for doing all those things I dreamed of? I decided it was worth taking time to explore the topic.
The Search Begins
What did I know about sleep when I began my search? Very little, really. My knowledge was similar to most people's
combination of sayings, old wives' tales, my mother's wisdom, and what I thought was generally accepted medical advice:
I have had 2 children and survived months of irregular nighttime feedings, so I knew that a person couldn't die from lack of sleep - even though you could feel so terrible you thought you might welcome death. But I also carried with me a sense that those all-nighters in college had taken their toll on MY health. And no matter who was a guest on "The Tonight Show," I wasn't going to ruin my health by staying up past midnight. I just knew I would fall apart the next day.
One day I went to see my doctor for a postnatal checkup, and I asked him what he knew about the medical needs for sleep. Having been awakefor 24 hours himself delivering babies, he laughed. "Dont ask me. I'd love to find a way to survive on less," he said.
"But didn't you learn anything about sleep in medical school?" I asked...The Sleep Management Plan. Copyright © by Dale Hanson Bourke. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.