Allowing yourself the small luxury

Sleep hygienists have clinically proven that waking up to an alarm clock promotes unhealthy sleep habits. 

Ideally, we should learn our circadian rhythms, control our natural cycle, wake up to the light of the morning and honor our master clock, known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus, which is located in the hypothalamus of the brain. 

Of course, let’s not overlook the emotional component to waking up without assistance. Because doing so is another opportunity for us to practice being kind to ourselves in a small, concrete way. 

Allowing ourselves the small luxury of not setting the alarm, and, perhaps more importantly, not feeling guilty, not holding a grudge toward ourselves and not overcompensating by putting in a twelve hour day to make up for lost time, is the healthiest place to be. 

Besides, sleeping less and working more is a false economy. The pressure to wake up at the crack of dawn and attack the day is mostly inherited cultural guilt and idealized social comparison. 

Not that getting an early start is a bad thing, but being in a good mood is always worth the number of hours of sleep it took to get there. We can probably accomplish in minutes what we couldn’t do for hours while we were tired. 

And in fact, people actually sleep better every night, knowing that they have personally achieved the joy they sought. 

Whereas punishing ourselves for every deviation from the perfect path is only hurting our health in the long run. 

Look, life is full of small luxuries. There are infinite opportunities throughout the day to practice being kind to ourselves. 

And in the same way that we allow ourselves a financial budget for that which delights us, we might consider extending that same rule to our temporal budget as well. 


Are you giving yourself permission to direct compassion and kindness inward? 

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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

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