Ben Barbersmith

runner · developer · entrepreneur

It's not as easy as just going to bed

— Last updated on Jan 4, 2021

You’re tired.

You know being tired makes you cranky, anxious, and negative. You know it results in worse decision-making. You know you’ll be hungrier, make less healthy food choices, and exercise less. You know you’ll be less pleasant to be around.

So what do you do? You decide to have an early night. You plan to go to bed early and get a great night’s sleep. Tomorrow you’ll be back to full power. Thanks, future self!

And it’s the right choice. According to Dr. Matthew Walker:

Sleep is the single most effective thing we can do to reset our brain and body health each day — Mother Nature’s best effort yet at contra-death.

Except when the time comes for an early night, we all know it won’t happen.

You think to yourself “I should go to bed”, but you don’t actually move. You continue coding, writing, gaming, binge-watching, or doom-scrolling. You find yourself idly opening and closing the same set of apps on your phone over and over again.

It’s time to go to bed. Unfortunately, it’s also the time when you have the lowest motivation and willpower.

So maybe you don’t get an early night. And the next day, the cycle repeats itself. Soon you become chronically (if mildly) sleep deprived.

You begin to think this is normal. You think that you feel fine on less sleep than most people. You think that you’re just a night owl.

You’re wrong. You just don’t remember what it feels like to be well rested.

It’s not as easy as just going to bed. But that’s the only way out of the hole you’re in. So for one week, I’m asking you: try it. Go to bed on-time for 7 days in a row. See how you feel one week later.

If it doesn’t rock your world, at least you’ll know. But it might just change your life.