On sleep

Sleep is great – I never regret the extra time I spend sleeping. On the other side of the coin, I often regret not going to sleep earlier. I always function at a lesser capacity when I don’t get enough sleep. It’s unfortunate that I do stay up past my bed time, because it’s usually the case that whatever I’m doing isn’t as important as getting enough rest, and I can almost always put off the task for later. However, even though I mentally recognize the importance of a good night’s rest, I don’t actually priortize it in my daily life. A good sleep schedule is the most noticeable improvement I’ve seen in my life – having said that, it’s tough to stay disciplined.

The matter of delaying sleep is actually a symptom of a larger issue: delaying gratification. Delaying gratification is usually done to put off short term gains in order to reap greater long term benefits. However, short term gains pay off immediately, which can also be more useful than waiting. In the case of sleep, the issue lies in the fact that the short term gain produces instant results – more time to browse reddit/etc, whereas the negative effects aren’t felt until the next day. The short term gains are so intoxicating, especially with the quick hits of dopamine I get from the internet. Just one more click, one more thread to read. In the long run, I’m not going to gain anything from those Askreddit threads I stayed up reading, but my body will certainly feel the long term effects of cutting out an hour of sleep every day. I’ve done a cost/benefit analysis and have decided that I shouldn’t be doing it. However, actually following through with my intentions is a completely different story. The biggest takeaway here is that I should instead focus on building up my discipline, since that’s the element that is lacking here.

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