I love my routine. I really do. I hate changing it up. I think a lot of people can relate because you’re already used to doing something for so long, at a specific time, that whenever there’s a “wrench” in your plans, you feel jumbled up. The day just doesn’t feel right. For the past few weeks, I’ve been feeling sick and recovering from a sinus infection and pinkeye. It’s been greeeaaaat… but of course I had to alter my routine a bit, and I had to rest.
Usually I go to the gym early in the morning, SUPER early. This allows me to feel confident energetic throughout the rest of the day, like I said in my “7 Reasons to Love Your Single Self” article. This time, however, I couldn’t. I did it once, but it was not pretty.
I woke up early as usual, and by early, I mean before the sun rises. The problem was that during the night, I kept waking up. I was restless. Nothing felt comfortable, and I had too many thoughts swirling through my mind. Despite that, I went to the gym. I started on a treadmill, and my legs were moving like jelly. I was tired, but I thought, “Let’s keep going. Maybe I’ll warm up and get in the zone.” Trust me, I did not.
My sluggish attitude progressed, but I still had motivation. Quite the contrasting pair, don’t you think? I wanted to work out because I haven’t for the past week and a half. I needed some sort of boost to get me back into the swing of things, and typically the gym would give me that energy spike. That day though, it made me even more exhausted.
I finished my normal regime, got a shower, and ate breakfast. My day was like any other day, except for how I felt. I kept referring back to my terrible night, and that even though I got less than five hours of sleep, I still got up early and went to the gym. I shouldn’t have done this. I should have laid in my bed and thought, “Nah, I’m going to sleep some more.” I was so hung up on my routine that I forgot how important sleep was, especially when recovering from an illness no matter how severe.
The next morning I skipped my workout. It felt wonderful. I slept in, and I needed that rest. For a college student, rest is a necessity, and since I am one but I was also sick, I REALLY needed it. I cannot stress enough how good that night’s sleep was. My dreams were all over the place, I slept straight through the night, and I woke up with that little puddle of drool on my pillow, which is the obvious sign of some intense REM. I woke up with ease and felt both physically and mentally better.
Please listen to me, reader. You need sleep. You really NEED it. If your schedule is changed because you have to nap or go to bed earlier or even wake up five minutes later (while not being late to class or work), then do it. You hear it all the time that sleep helps reinvigorate the body and mind. Not only that, but it is worth it. Those extra minutes or hours of snoozing are some of the best feelings of relaxation. While you might think about the stuff you have to do once your precious minutes end, you’re still closing your eyes in your bed. What’s better than that?
So here’s my advice: No matter who you are or how old you may be, prioritize sleep. You might not think it’s that important, but it is.