The real reason I don’t get enough sleep

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…

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