Why we should just ZZZZZZZZZ and dream about better, betterest….

November 28, 2010

(To increase the font size of this essay – hold down the Ctrl key and keep pressing +) Most people in Singapore are chronically sleep deprived, causing marked reduction in productivity, concentration and quality of work, as well as an increase in moodiness, stress, bad judgement and a pretty lousy quality of life.

I once had a secretary who delighted in terrorising fellow co-workers all day long – one day, HR threatened to sack her as she was creating a public nuisance of herself – so I suggested she sleep in between breaks –  and guess what? Not only did her acne problem clear up;  she was able to sort out her yo-yo Oprah Winfrey weight problems, her relationship with her husband even improved – but most importantly of all; she was a much happier and fulfilled person – that just goes to show you – sleep is very important.

Recent medical research proves that sleep deprivation literally dumbs you and instead of being an asset to your firm; you’re actually a liability. To be a peak performer you need to be fully alert, dynamic, energetic, in a good mood, and mentally on the ball. You must be able to concentrate, remember, make critical and creative decisions, communicate persuasively, and be productive all day long. None of this is possible without quality sleep. Furthermore, healthy sleep has been proven to be the single most important determinant in predicting longevity. It is more influential than diet, exercise or heredity-but our modern culture has become a study in sleep deprivation.

We should all learn to sleep confidently – and not be apologetic and coy about it – I’ve learnt the benefits of cat napping many years ago when I had to hold down two shift jobs just to make it through university – so I can literally sleep anywhere and on command – have even been known to sleep standing and sleep with my eyes wide open – however, these days, I am quite open about power napping – whenever, I have to sleep, I just sleep even if I happen to be in a crowd – in the office, I just spread a full length crisp card board (detergent softener packing material is the best as they come already scented. You can get it from the NTUC auntie for free) after lunch underneath my table and sleep. At other times when I am running around town calling on clients; I sleep regularly in my car, but that’s dicey given that my gear box caught fire recently – at other times, when I am taking the MRT; I just find a cool corner and let the train rock me to sleep like a baby – I also find libraries are pretty good places to sleep; alongside cinema’s and I always look foward to sleeping during ministerial speeches (which seem to put me into those Inception comatose induced type sleep, though strangely, I never ever dream of anything).

I think most of us already know about the incredibly restorative powers of sleep; but what we may not know about is how to reclaim our right to sleep confidently, assuredly and without guilt while a work . This is something we really need to work at– try it, it doesn’t really matter who you are; you could just be a student, homemaker, journalist, ISD officer, businessman, civil servant (but if you happen to be a pilot or train driver, do check first with HR) – either way learning to sleep confidently will definitely change your life for the better, I guarantee you this 100%  – if you notice even the Bangladeshi expatriates seem to know that a siesta can improve health, happiness and performance. (The rest of this essay has been withdrawn due to measured response)

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