Rest is as important as Activity

It was 0630 pm and the sun had just set on the highway. I was driving back home from work on a busy day and was keeping the care at the speed limit of 100 kmph. The audio CD program ‘Power of positive thinking’ by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale was being lapped up. All seemed well, except for one fact – I was asleep at the wheel.

Next thing I know, I have banged into a Nissan Sunny in front, blown off my front right tire, lost control and veered off into the concrete divider, blown off my front left tire and slid across the road back on the shoulder right in front of a hard-braking truck who just missed me by inches. I sit in shock in the car watching the tailback in the rearview mirror. That evening was a turning point in my life that taught me a valuable lesson. That’s when I swore to myself, I am going to get enough sleep from now on.

The weeks leading up to that fateful day, I was experimenting with reduced sleep time to maximize productivity during the waking hours. A friend of mine advised me that all a human body needs is ‘One cycle’ of sleep, consisting of Alpha, Beta, Theta and Delta levels, during the night. Each such cycle can vary between 3hr 45 min to 4 hrs 15 min, from person to person. Haven’t you wondered why you are sometimes wide-awake in the middle of the night after around 4hrs of sleep? Then you look at the clock and hit the bed again saying that it’s too early to get up. That’s because you just completed one full sleep-cycle. At the end of each cycle the brain comes back to consciousness and then goes back into unconsciousness for another cycle. So if you can time your alarm to match with the end of each cycle, through trial and error, then you can wake up quite painlessly early morning.

I was so inspired by this new information that I started to put it into action. But I overlooked three important points, which helped my friend pull off 4-hour nighters. And those were:

He was a meditation expert, and used to meditate at least 1hour everyday, but I didn’t.
He used to take a powernap every afternoon for at least 20 minutes, but I didn’t.
He did not engage in any physical exercise, but I did.

As you can see, it was a disaster waiting to unfold in my case. Since then, I have gone back to my usual 6 hours of sleep. Experts say that you need between 6 to 8 hours of sleep everyday. Anything less or more than that is not good for health. So my advice to you is to find what works best for you, between 6 and 8 hours. A well-rested person always performs better and longer than one who is not. W. Clement Stone, founder of Combined Insurance, used to take naps whenever possible – in the train, in a bus, etc. He used to claim increased performance after a good rest. My advice to you is to manage your rest as well as your activity. Find what’s your perfect blend and stick to it. Don’t experiment with lack of sleep because it can cause serious damage. In my case, I almost lost my life!

God Bless.


About the Author:
John Bino is an entrepreneur and success coach specializing in helping fellow entrepreneurs and the community at large to realize their true potential. His mission is to help people become more valuable to their family and the marketplace.
For more information on John Bino or to contact him, go to either his blog or to his business website
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