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The Wee Hours of the Night

October 30, 2007

As some of you may know, I have 3 boys.  They are 2, 4 and 6 years old.  They are great and my wife and I have few real challenges except in the area of sleep.  Each of the boys has had some difficulty with having consistent uninterrupted sleep.  And, this means that Mom and Dad also enjoy interrupted sleep.  In fact, we find that we can regularly be awake during the wee hours of the morning.  And, this has led to a realization over the past several years.  Sleep affects performance.  Sure, no kidding you’re saying.  Of course, it affects performance.  Well, yes, if you have 3 hours of sleep the night before you are likely not going to be performing at your best the day after.  But, it’s more complicated than that.  If the rhythm of your sleep is consistently altered and you’re losing a little bit of sleep here and there, your performance is also infected.  You may not notice it at first but consider this.  The last few times that you were frustrated consider whether or not you were suffering from some form of fatigue.  Parents see this in terms of how their frustration and performance increase and decrease because they simply “haven’t had a good sleep in years”. 

So what can be learned from this?  I think the most important thing is to observe yourself so that you know when you’re frustrated more because of your fatigue than the situation.  Or, you know that your performance is just awful and you need to recharge right away.  Sometimes we just do not recognize our own fatigue and the performance issues it creates.

Filed in: Musings

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Comments (6)

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  1. ian gibson says:

    Paul,

    I had met you a couple of years ago when I (as were you and Jim Muckle ) were invoked with the mayor’s task force on mental health in the work place.

    I have continued to enjoy your newsletter.

    I heartily agree with your notion that many of us are sleep deprived an are not operating to our fullest potential. I think it is a question of pruning a few things from our schedules, concentrating on doing fewer things better and getting regular exercise.

    Ian Gibson

  2. mindscape says:

    Hi Ian,

    Thanks for the reply. Interesting thing. I’ve just read about some research that suggests that before there was electric lighting people’s sleep habits were quite different. Many would go to sleep after the sun set and sleep for a several hours. Then, they would get up for a few hours… read, study, congregate, play games, etc. Then they would go back to sleep for a few hours and wake at dawn.

    The research suggests that this may be why some people have interesting or erratic sleep patterns.

    Interesting stuff.

    Paul

  3. RaiulBaztepo says:

    Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

    • mindscape says:

      Hi Raiul,

      Thanks. It’s a truth that I came to not just through research but my own experience. And, it’s good to be reminded of it from time to time.

      Paul

  4. PiterKokoniz says:

    Hi ! 🙂
    My name is Piter Kokoniz. oOnly want to tell, that I like your blog very much!
    And want to ask you: is this blog your hobby?
    Sorry for my bad english:)
    Thank you:)
    Your Piter Kokoniz, from Latvia

    • mindscape says:

      Hi Piter,

      Thanks for the comments. I blog infrequently (ie when I have time) as another way for me to spread the principles that I use in my speaking and consulting. It’s also another way for people who attend my seminars or coaching clients and the general public to have access to my thoughts on success, mindset, perception and human performance.

      Cheers,
      Paul