Thursday, January 17, 2008

In Today's World, the Well-Rested Lose Respect

This morning, when I got into my car at 8:30, after sleeping in on my day off, this newspiece began to play on NPR: In Today's World, the Well-Rested Lose Respect.

For those of you who don't want to follow the link and/or listen to the 8 minute story, the basic gist is that sleeping less has become a certain badge of honor in our contemporary culture. People brag that they only need five hours of sleep, when in reality, they probably need more. This story also addresses the prevailing myth, propagated by morning people, that success and productivity are directly tied to getting up early, even if it means losing sleep.

As someone who much prefers to get up between 8:30 and 9:00, I can tell you that I am often a victim of prejudice at the hands of the early risers. Somehow I'm seen as lazy or non-productive because I don't want to be up before the sun. I can tell you that on more than one occasion I've wanted to say mean things to those who chastise my desire to be well-rested. I mean, especially considering my occupation, what good would it really do for me to be up at 6:00 everyday. Are the youth at Harpeth clamoring for theological inquiry and pastoral care at 6:00 am? I doubt it. Is the Holy Spirit more likely to breath inspiration into Scripture at 6:30 am? Doubtful.

Anyway, it's good to hear that there's some scientific basis for my claim that being well rested has its advantages in overall productivity. Perhaps my next blog entry can be about my concerns with "productivity" as the gold standard by which our lives should be measured. For now, though, I think I'll enjoy my day off.


Teri said...

I too prefer to wake up around 8.30...though if I'm in the going-to-the-gym routine I wake up at 7. But whenever I wake up, I don't appear at church before 10 (except on Sunday!) and not until 1-ish on Thursdays (Wed. and Thurs. are late nights). People comment on it, and I usually respond that I work until between 7 and 9 most nights, so coming in at 8 or 9 in the morning would be breaking my "stay away from church for at least 12 hours in a row" rule. Most have come around...and now harass me if I come earlier than 10, worried that I'm working too much!