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We all have our vices.

That’s the excuse I typically give when I do something I know I shouldn’t be doing… consuming six cups of coffee before 6 am, mindlessly scrolling through Tumblr for hours, devouring an extra large bag of M&Ms (not that I’ve done that… ahem…). The one vice that gets me every time, and the one that probably gets you, too, is very critical to our health.

We neglect to give ourselves the valuable gift of sleep.

It’s likely you’ve heard (or said) this before:

  • I’ll sleep when I’m dead.
  • Sleep is for the weak.
  • … but I might miss something…
  • No sleep till Brooklyn!

A friend of mine has a four-year-old daughter. Her daughter gets so excited about life, and so anxious that she might miss something, that she forgets to go to the bathroom. Rather, she refuses until it’s convenient for her and then ends up having an accident at daycare. She’s been potty-trained for more than a year. But, with all of life’s exciting opportunities, can you blame her?

Those of us who are sleepless in [insert city here] are doing the adult version of this. We wait so long and neglect our body’s natural need for sleep that we end up having accidents. Literally – accidents in cars, accidents at work (typos, oversights), you name it.

We’re doing ourselves a huge disservice. We might as well go to work drunk. No, seriously. Research shows that the effect of performance on even a moderate level of fatigue is equivalent to or greater than what is considered acceptable for alcohol intoxication (source: hbr.org).

sleepandalcohol-thumb-580x342-3964

How do we expect to change the world if we’re operating at such a low level? Clarity of thought, speech and purpose are critical in making life decisions. Why are we doing this to ourselves?

It’s a culture thing. In general, millennials are victims of FOMO (fear of missing out) and involve ourselves in too many activities. Our need to change the world is the very thing that’s causing us to skip the REM cycle. Our vice.

I don’t know everything there is to know about this, but thank goodness for the internet. Here’s a little extra reading about FOMO and the importance of sleep:

Here are 10 reasons why you can’t sleep and how to fix them
Sleep less, eat more, gain weight
The perils of sacrificing sleep for late-night studying
Life dissatisfaction linked with fear of missing out, study finds

Those six cups of coffee I mentioned? Not an exaggeration. I’ve asked my life’s Allies to hold me accountable. This has ranged from cutting off access to email, turning off my phone at night (gasp!) and making sure my coffee intake is brought to a healthy level. It hasn’t worked so far, but we’re getting there.

I’m trying to change the status quo: you snooze, you win.

Editor’s note:

Accountable in Action wants to learn more about you.

This organization’s cornerstone is accountability. We’re here to support you and to make sure you have everything you need to pursue your goals and make a positive difference in this world.

We all have our vices. What are yours? What are you doing to hold someone accountable for not indulging in their vice? Keep us informed and let’s keep the discussion going. We need to make sure we’ve got the energy to change the world.

Keep us informed online at https://www.facebook.com/AccountableInAction

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