fitness · sleep

Why is being well rested the privilege I’m too embarassed to talk about?

“I’m having a busy start of the university year and I rode my bike in a 100 km Gran Fondo on the weekend. I also slept 10 hours last night.”

I nearly posted that to Facebook in September after a busy weekend but I didn’t. It wasn’t the riding my bike that felt like boasting. It was the sleep!

I thought about all the blog followers and FB friends whose lives don’t allow 10 hours of sleep. I decided not to share.

These days I often go to bed early Sunday evening and begin the week pretty well rested, knowing that I can’t do it every night. I’ve got a lot of privilege in our society. I’ve got a lot of education and an amazing job. But the one privilege that I’m shy about admitting is that I’m often pretty well rested.

I don’t harp about my sleep habits mostly because I don’t want the late night Netflix watchers among you to think that I’m judgey. I’m not. I’m definitely not at all judgey about people with small kids, caring for elderly parents, or working long hard shifts. The thing is for me, I get tired in the evening and I have a hard time staying awake. If I put on Netflix I’d be “zzzzzz” within minutes. I joke that sleep is my super power. I get really tired in the evening and I feel like I can’t stay awake. We talk about the need to prioritize sleep but I often feel that I don’t have a choice.

I read this from the Nap Ministry about developing a sleep practise and I think the going to bed early on Sunday is definitely part of my sleep practice.

” Insight into your faithful Nap Bishop’s rest practice.
1. I do not rush or overbook my calendar. I view my calendar with intuition and I have never been lead astray by my intuition. Rest allows you to connect with what you really feel and know. Grinding keeps you in a cycle of trauma.
2. I will not argue or debate with anyone on social media. You will never worry me. Arguing takes away from time I can use to nap. It is a radical act for a black woman to decide and practice a “no arguing/debate” policy because most people use these platforms to argue and most people assume they have access to black women for this role. The theories of the Nap Ministry have close to 20 years of practice/research and 4 years of graduate studies in one of the top seminaries in country. If you wanna argue or don’t agree, don’t follow and go start your own organization and blog about it.
3. I rest everyday for at least 30 mins to an hour. I book my calendar so that it is possible. I may nap on the couch, stare out a window, rest my eyes while “

Photo of the Nap Bishop from their Facebook page

What’s your sleep practise look like? Do you have any commitments about sleep like the ones that Nap Bishop makes?

8 thoughts on “Why is being well rested the privilege I’m too embarassed to talk about?

  1. I’m so with you on this! I’m bad at staying up super late and I love my sleep. And I’m kind of embarrassed by how much I get. It feels like a wild privilege. For me it can get bound up with a feeling of irrelevance. As in, if I have time for lots of sleep, I must be an irrelevant human being. Oh and also, lazy. Did you notice that I didn’t even say how much I sleep, as if even here it’s mortifying. Probably at least 8 hours a night.

  2. I wish I could sleep better/more than I can — I envy the intuitive calendar makers and nappers among us. I fell asleep while watching the much-awaited season 3 of The Crown at 2 pm sunday afternoon — that tells me something about how much more I need to just LIE DOWN. But alas, life does not always enable that ;-(.

  3. I think this goes well with the theme of “busy-bragging” that I’ve spoken about. It’s the same sensibility behind that as behind feeling embarrassed to say one gets enough (or a lot of) sleep. I think it’s absolutely admirable to get enough sleep. I have a friend who says some days she just stays in bed and reads and naps and basically just hangs out. I am in awe of that ability as much as I am of someone who gets 9-10 hours of sleep. I used to get that much regularly. And now, on leave, I’m back to getting at least 8. I thought I’d want lots of naps. But it turns out that when I get 8 hours of sleep or even 7.5, I don’t need or want a nap! Who knew? This has been a real good lesson from my commitment to prioritizing sleep on my admin leave. Anyway: congratulations! Something to be proud of because it goes against the grain and it shouldn’t!

  4. I’m all about the sleeping guilt! My circadian clock is different: I find it easy to stay up late, but getting up early just gets harder as I get older. And that’s because I can no longer function on less than 7 hours of sleep. I just can’t. So on school days, I try to get up by 8–8:15am, but I much prefer 9:30am (if I’ve gone to sleep by midnight, which doesn’t always happen). I am embarrassed about it because I feel adolescent and self-indulgent. I’m glad you wrote this, and it feels good to share here. Thanks!

    1. Glad you don’t mock me for being in bed by nine! I promise not to mock you for sleeping in until nine.

      1. You get the cool reputation though possibly shamed for no early morning workouts or writing. I get the hardworking reputation but shamed for no fun. Even though we probably sleep the same amount.

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