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Knowing, when you are tired

When you are tired, you are not efficient. You are also probably grumpy and not the best version of yourself. You also do not make the best decisions. The problem is, that, nowadays, most people lost the awareness of their tiredness.

Sleeping as little as possible and working long hours is a badge of honour for some. The longer you live like that, the less you are able to identify the tiredness and its impacts.

One of the first things psychologists will try with an alcoholic is to get them sober. (Not)Surprisingly, for many people, who were not really sober for weeks or months, find the soberness mindaltering and for quite a few of them this is good enough to get rid of their drinking habit.

Over time I have found out that it works the same with tiredness and sleep. The more tired I am, the worse decisions I make and the more tired I become. E.g. I did not sleep well and the next day instead of going to sleep early I stay up late, making things worse.

And, as I mentioned, the longer I am in this state, the less I realize I need to rest.

That’s why I have developed few telltale signs, which let me know, I need to sleep. Here they are

  • I cannot focus on reading
  • I watch the videos and series I have already seen dozens of times
  • I do not want to go to bed even when it is late
  • I want to have a beer even when I do not really want to

There are more and yours will probably be different. But it is important that you find yours and listen to them. As soon as I observe myself in these states, I try to get sleep as soon as possible. It is hard, because, as I wrote previously, you usually do not make the best decisions while tired, but the awerness increases my chances to make a good one several times.

Really few people can sleep less than 7-8 hours a night consistently without the effects starting to show. Do not think you are one of those unless you have compared yourself sleeping well and long for a few weeks with yourself sleeping less. And watch for your signs.

If you were ever told that you look tired, you should listen and try to sleep more for a couple of days, ideally weeks. It takes a while for the effects to show especially if you are chronically underslept.

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