If you’re considering writing a book you may already be thinking of how to cut sleep to create more time.
But here’s a surprising fact: Skimping on shut-eye will not help you write your book faster.
In fact, lack of proper sleep will only work against your creative ambitions – not to mention your abilities.
Sleep and stress
For starters, it’s a well-proven fact that inadequate sleep can cause stress and anxiety, and minimize feelings of wellbeing – None of which are conducive to a good day’s writing.
We’ve all heard of those authors who work late into the wee hours, or get up at 4 am to churn out regular chapters of their ongoing oeuvre. But it doesn’t mean that kind of timetable should work for everyone or is even sustainable.
A study from the University of Pennsylvania revealed that even partial sleep deprivation can fuel feelings of sadness, anger and mental exhaustion.
Not only that, but not catching the recommended forty winks can blunt your focus and decision-making abilities, making it easier for you to step back from your laptop or decide that writing a book was a bad idea in the first place.
Sleep and creativity
Poor sleep habits also play havoc with your creativity. Again, sciencehas shown that deep (REM) sleep, which involves heightened brain activity and vivid dreams, helps you make inspired connections and increases the capacity for creative problem solving.
In other words, being well-rested can make all the difference between figuring out how to segue into tricky chapter topics or staring numbly at a blank screen.
The joy of writing a book
And here’s the thing: Even if you can push through feelings of fatigue, irritability, and inadequacy while pulling together the threads of your book, why would you want to?
Writing a book is an especial experience.
When you begin a project like this you should do so knowing that you’re embarking on a wonderful journey of self-discovery and growth.
Sure, it’s challenging, and some days will be better than others. But you are committing to contributing your voice and vision to the world. That’s pretty remarkable.
So, why would you hobble yourself throughout the process by being short of energy and then, by default, enthusiasm?
Instead, when creating a writing schedule, be equally determined about creating a sleep schedule. One that will help you write your book with a clear head and an invigorated will.
And if you’re ensure how to do this, some ways to start include:
- Making sure you get the recommended seven to nine hours of shut-eye nightly.
- Going to bed and waking up around the same time each night and morning (yep, even on the weekends.)
- Keeping your circadian rhythms in check by getting a good dose of daylight first thing in the morning and minimizing your use of bright lights in the evening.
- Engaging in daily exercise. Even a 30-minute walk around the block each day is known to improve quality of sleep. However, be careful not to get a work-out in too late in the evening as that may perk you up instead of winding you down.
- Taking at least 30 minutes to kick back before bedtime.That means if you write in the evening, try and schedule in some relaxation between finishing writing for the day and hitting the sack.
There’s a lot of hard work and commitment that goes into writing a book. But getting adequate nightly slumber means you can part sleep your way to a finished book and feel engaged and excited in the process!
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