Can sleeping be considered a real hobby?
You just lay there and close your eyes.
Hearing that and thinking about it, some might say, What a boring idea for a hobby!
People who pursue hobbies usually have events where they get together with other like-minded people. Motorcycle enthusiasts get together with other enthusiasts to ride through roads winding across pretty landscapes. Golfers golf in tournaments. Collectors compare collections. Movie buffs get together with other movie buffs and watch movies. Hobbies always involve doing something.
What would sleep enthusiasts do when they get together with other enthusiasts? Go to a big room and lay down?
Sounds thrilling, right?
And, really, eating can be considered a hobby for some people. There are people who seek out new restaurants, are heavily occupied with eating vegan, seeking out a particular type of food, and many other angles to something that’s necessary for life.
The sleep market was worth $28.6 billion in 2017. There were hundreds of different products. The sleep industry is of a size that rivals and surpasses many other more commonly accepted hobbies.
What if you made it your hobby?
If you did make sleep your hobby, you could benefit from it. A hobby is both something you like to do and work to do well. Another word for hobbyist is enthusiast. Enthusiasts are enthusiastic about what they do.
If sleeping was your hobby, you’d make sure you dedicated enough time to it. Ideally, this amount of time would be the correct amount of time for you. Not too much nor too little. Since sleeping is supposed to take up about one-third of every 24-hour period, that’s no small matter.
You’d make sure you had an adequate mattress.
You’d go through the extra effort of making sure you had a journal by your bedside to write down a dream when you had it. It’s an inexpensive action that can have a lot of benefits.
We’re the best at activities we put passion, energy, and effort into. It’s exceedingly rare that someone becomes good at something without any effort.
Since it’s important for personal performance, sleeping is one of those things it pays to be good at. Being better than average at it gives you a leg up on your competition, especially if you’re capable of getting full rest when you can and skipping out on it when you need to. Many sleep problems are avoidable. They can have a huge impact on both your quality of life and on the achievement of your personal goals.
Put on a resume, it might send the wrong message. It depends on the audience. Some people are biased against sleeping as if caring a lot about being good at it makes you lazy or it might get you branded as a smart ass or a nut. Despite the best efforts of sleep activists like Arianna Huffington and William Dement, sleeping still has a negative connotation in our culture. That’s counterproductive for a job interview.
Sleep can be made into a game. Learning by gamification is a valid strategy for self-improvement. It works for learning a musical instrument, for foreign languages, and for other activities.
- Go back over past articles on this blog and make a list. Try out some of the techniques we’ve covered, maybe one per week.
- See if you can design the perfect routine for you to get the best sleep possible involving bedtime rituals. Make notes about sleep duration, caffeine intake, and health. It’s best to judge the effectiveness of a routine by how it makes you feel, not necessarily on the amount of time you spend asleep. By ferreting out the influencing factors upon the way you feel, you can tell what measures have the best payback. With good sleep hygiene, who knows what might be possible? Replacing a sleeping pill with a bowl of cereal? Crazier things have happened!
- Become a Super Sleeper.
It makes sense that people who would be interested in being great at sleeping would also be interested in health and exercise. All three of those things together are known as the Human Optimization Pyramid.
They’re the kind of people who exercise and who are trying to recover after illness or injury. They appreciate their health dictates how they’re going to experience the world. Many people who are physical fitness enthusiasts are also sleeping technique enthusiasts, though not necessarily in name.
Whether they or you include sleeping among your list of hobbies doesn’t really matter. As they say, actions speak louder than words. What your actions say is what really matters.
Nevertheless, considering sleep as a hobby isn’t as nutty as some people would suggest. There’s nothing wrong with trying to be good at something. There’s definitely nothing wrong with trying to enjoy what you’re good at. When it’s something you have to do, it really does make a lot of sense.
For further reading:
James Cobb, RN, MSN, is an emergency department nurse and the founder of the Dream Recovery System. His goal is to provide his readers with simple, actionable ways to improve their health and maximize their quality of life.
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