The Blog.

The real reason I don’t get enough sleep

19 May 2014 | Being Human, Work Life Rhythm

There’s been a lot in the news about sleep this week.

I must admit, this isn’t one of my better habits.

I know sleep is important. I know it affects my capacity, my thinking, my wellbeing and my mood. I even consider it a luxury – I make that joke most parents do about how I’d prefer sleep over a box of chocolates for my birthday.

Yet I very rarely give myself that gift. More often I let other things creep in.

In the evenings “I’ll just…”

  • send another email
  • comment on this Facebook post
  • do the accounts
  • tidy up the proposal I was working on earlier
  • finish off that article
  • look up that app someone told me about
  • do the laundry
  • load the dishwasher
  • watch another another episode of the latest find on Netflix
  • any or all of the above… and more

Or I’ll squeeze away some sleep in the morning. I can rise to the challenge of being at my desk, on a train or pounding the streets at 6am, but I still don’t manage to get to bed earlier!

Granted some of these things are definitely more of a trade off than others. But the fact remains. Sleep is the currency I most willingly trade with.

Why is that?

It hit me the other day. I’ve seen this before.

When my son used to fight his sleep as a baby, to the point where he would fall asleep mid cry. When my daughter is bouncing round the walls until she see’s her brother go to bed then she’s out like a light.

It dawned on me: I am no different to my kids. The one thing that stops me from getting more sleep boils down to this:

Fear Of Missing Out

Yup. No more complicated or profound. Just plain old FOMO. How silly do I feel?

My friend Karen announced last week that she was pulling the plug on the website she started ten years ago. Because her business had moved on, and it was time for her to shed that skin, let go of the old and make more room for the present.

It sparked a discussion about how sometimes we hold onto things that served us before, long after their usefulness, and here’s what I said:

Some things we keep building. Others become stepping stones. And sometimes we have to let go of some good stuff so we can grab what’s next with both hands.


Maybe I need to take my own advice on this. There was a time when the nights were my most productive, the only time I had my brain to myself.

But with my kids now in school and I’m working fuller days, quite frankly, my brain is often toast when it comes to the evenings. Perhaps it’s time for a new season and a new rhythm. Time to admit that the thing I fear I’m missing out on is far less valuable than the thing I’m really missing out on…

What about you? Does Fear of Missing Out stop you from letting go? Have you ever made that decision in your business to let go of something that’s passed its usefulness?

I’d love to hear your story – go ahead and share in the comments below…


  1. Fiona

    Thanks for this Grace – so very true!! It’s healthy to let go of things that no longer serve us but we all have the tendency to ‘hoard’ – if not things then routines, people, regular tasks and all sorts of things.

    I have always suffered from FOMO but have found some peace of mind lately in letting go of things that no longer serve me and my purpose. This article will help me step that campaign up a gear!! 🙂

    • Grace Marshall

      Love your definition of hoarding Fiona – that is so true! Really glad this inspired you and thanks for your contribution 🙂

  2. amanda_alexander

    Great post Grace and I’m consciously aware I’ve just read it and am commenting at 11.36pm!! Time for bed! FOMO!!

    • Grace Marshall

      Lol! Good to know I’m not alone Amanda! Thanks for sharing and glad you enjoyed it!

  3. naomirichards

    A very honest post Grace. I am happy to miss out and will turn off my computer and hide my phone so I don’t look at anything. Evenings are for me and my husband or for me to just chill. I like my sleep too much too!

    • Grace Marshall

      Good for you Naomi! Love that you have those boundaries clearly working for you – and that even you have to hide your phone! Thanks 🙂

  4. Carmen MacDougall

    Gosh reading this is like reading about myself. A great post as always and one that I am taking note of immediately!!! Thank you

    • Grace Marshall

      Thanks Carmen! Glad it spoke to you 🙂

Image if author Grace Marshall

About Grace

I coach, train, write and speak on productivity. I help people adopt new ways of working and thinking about their work to replace stress, overwhelm and frustration with success, sanity and satisfaction.

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