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Whatever You Do, Don't Fall Asleep

Although Freddy Krueger technically coined the phrase, I'd say that Insomnia had Intellectual Property Rights since day one.

A couple of months ago, I read a book called "Why We Sleep" by Matthew Walker. It takes you through the psychological and physiological effects that sleeping (or lack thereof) can have on the mind and body.

The shorter your sleep, the shorter your life. The leading causes of disease and death in developed nations—diseases that are crippling health-care systems, such as heart disease, obesity, dementia, diabetes, and cancer—all have recognized causal links to a lack of sleep. - Matthew Walker

Although I don't necessarily relate to every aspect of the book (because really, who can relate to everything?),  I realized how much damage I was doing to my body.

Freddy Krueger might just be the epitome of Insomnia.

I've been dealing with Insomnia (with wonderful nightmares) for as long as I can remember. My usual daily rhythm would be to sleep late, wake up late, start work late, and repeat.

Even when I changed my sleep patterns for the better, I had problems falling and staying asleep. A contributing factor here is that I actually love the night.

Why is this so?

Because finally, the world is asleep and a person like myself who has trouble focusing, can finally use all of his focus to get work done without the distraction of the waking world around him. Also, I love the romance and calmness of the night, than the harsh sun and bustling nature of a city that never stops to take things slow. Finally, it feels like I'm the only one here and I can go at my own pace.

There have been countless nights that I've lain awake waiting for sleep to come, only to realize that it only starts to set in once the birds are chirping and the weight of the world and responsibility has come back on me.

Our lack of sleep is a slow form of self-euthanasia...

Ever since I read the book, I've been researching all sorts of methods of how to get things done in a timely manner so that I could get the most effective amount of sleep that my body needs.

I use the Pomodoro Technique

Productivity is the deliberate, strategic investment of your time, talent, intelligence, energy, resources, and opportunities in a manner calculated to move you measurably closer to meaningful goals. — Dan S. Kennedy

In the late 1980s, Francesco Cirillo created a time-management technique referred to as the “Pomodoro Technique.”

The idea is to break down your work into small intervals so that you can accomplish each task more effectively.

The length of a Pomodoro session is typically 25 minutes, and it’s followed by a 5-minute break.

This allows you to be really productive on one task for 25 minutes, rather than having a dozen tasks that aren’t managed properly in time. What ends up happening is that you focus better on one task than another simply because one may take longer than another, and your energy will eventually fade out.

By having set sessions, each task is equally getting the best of your focus, energy, and attention.

Task 1: 25 minutes (set a timer).

Break 1: 5 minutes. Drink a glass of water, do a couple of quick push-ups or other exercises, etc.

Task 2: 25 minutes.

Break 2: 5 minutes.

Task 3: 25 minutes.

Break 3: Increased to 10 minutes.

This is the template I use to be efficient with my time. I still need time to get used to it, but it allows me to be disciplined so that I know when enough is enough so as to get some good night's sleep.

So, it all started with a book, and now, some months later, my life has a healthier routine than it ever has. I always knew about the Pomodoro Technique, but "Why We Sleep" reinforced how important it is to manage your time for your own health, not just for the face of productivity.

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