“Sleep isn’t a break from our lives.
It’s the missing third of the puzzle of what it means to be living.”
~David K. Randall
When I first began lifting weights in college, I was annoyed and bored at the prescription to rest between sets. There I was all dressed in my workout clothes, ready to get sweaty and get strong. Sitting there felt counter-productive. I had to simply trust my instructor that this rest time was just as important to my strength training as the heavy lifting.
95% of me is 100% certain that this time of rest is absolutely essential for me to be able to do what I want to do with the rest of my days.
5% is getting annoyed and bored. I might be just a teeny bit scared that I am having too much fun. What if I have officially lowered the bar so far down that I won’t be able to lift it again? Could it be true that just sitting here is making me stronger?
In Dreamland, David Randall writes about an experiment where he deprived his subjects of artificial light (a suspected culprit of sleep disorders):
“They spent the first few weeks of the experiment like kids in a candy store, making up for all of the lost sleep that had accumulated from staying out late at night or showing up at work early in the morning. After a few weeks, the subjects were better rested than perhaps at any other time in their lives.”
Maybe I’m not just sitting on a sweaty bench. Maybe I am just spending some quality time in a candy store, having the time of my life.