I awoke at 7:15 this morning, exhausted from yet another weekend juggling family & friends in town, squeezing out the last 15 hours of the work week that couldn’t be fit into 5 workdays, and barely sitting down long enough to catch the Sopranos. The first thing greeting me in my inbox was the same as it is each week, Roy’s Monday Morning Memo. Talk about salience:
"Men think about it every seven seconds or so. Women romanticize it. Teenagers yearn for the weekends, when they might get a little of it… Sleep is the new sex." – Susan A. Nielsen, journalist for The Oregonian
The National Sleep Foundation has confirmed what you’ve long suspected: Americans aren’t getting enough sleep.
The culprits are:
- Email: It just won’t let us unplug from the grid. We stay up late, tapping out messages lest someone be offended by our lack of response.
- Caffeine: Our shortage of sleep has deepened in lockstep with the rising popularity of gourmet coffee. Coffee goes up. Sleep goes down. Surprised?
- Alcohol: A little wine may help put us to sleep, but it also keeps us from sleeping deeply. Alcohol robs us of much-needed rest during the night.
- Lack of exercise: Our bodies need physical exertion. The more we sweat, the better we sleep. But few of us are getting any real
- Overcommitment: We’re taking care of our jobs, our children, and our parents, then trying to squeeze out a few droplets of me-time.
Too much to do in too few hours is keeping our motors revving at redline.
- Instant Gratification: We want what we want and we want it now. We make purchases the moment we can qualify for the payments because
acquiring things is how we keep score, right? Then, Impending Financial Doom keeps us anxious and chases sleep from the room. So we take a pill. Doctors prescribed drugs to 42 million of us last year who said we couldn’t sleep. Two billion dollars is what we spent for sleeping pills in 2005. But the 300 million spent by pharmaceutical companies to advertise sleep-inducing drugs had nothing to do with that, right? You and I aren’t affected by advertising.
And I thought it was just New Yorkers who spent their days this crazy but apparently it’s an epidemic. If you’re not a subscriber, you can read the rest of the memo and see what returns 5 minutes a week can bring you. You won’t be disappointed.