PP 005: Sleep… And Why I Would Rather You Do It Than Listen to Me
Yes, I am completely serious in the title of this podcast episode. It really DOES say, “Sleep… And Why I Would Rather You Do It Than Listen To Me.”
Failing to sleep as much as I needed to at numerous points in my business has led to me journeying down dark, dismal, depressing roads that I would never wish anyone to travel.
Please, I plead with you, do not neglect your sleep.
Everything will never get done, especially if you’re like me and have Chronic Idea Disorder. (Pssst. I’m still looking for another phrase to describe Chronic Idea Disorder. Something that doesn’t sound so bad, because it truly is a blessing. Do you have a recommendation? Please leave it in the comments below!)
Anyway… If it’s the middle of the night and you’re on my site in attempt to stay awake while pushing yourself to work harder and longer, please do us both a favor….
Go to bed. This episode will be waiting for you tomorrow.
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In today’s episode I have a somewhat strange request for you. And here it is.
If you have been awake for more than 12 hours; If it’s the middle of the night, and you are working and you are trying to get work done, I want you to turn this podcast off and go to bed.
Yes, I’m asking you to turn me off and go to bed.
I greatly appreciate the fact that you are listening to me, but I think you’ll understand after the stories that I tell you, where I am coming from, and why I believe that sleep is so vitally important.
So in episode PP 001 I shared a little bit about my background. In 2005, I opened up an online scrapbooking retail store. Between 2005 and 2008, I was working ridiculous hours. I was working full-time as an interior architect designing schools throughout the state of Ohio, and after I got home, fed my kids, and got them into bed, I would stay up until about 2, 3, 4 o’clock in the morning filling orders, sleep for a couple hours and then get back up at 5:30 or 6 so that I could make it to work by 7:30.
I maintained this sleeping pattern — so yes, only about two or three hours a night — for about two or three years. By the end of 2007, my health was rapidly declining.
I’m being very transparent. In this episode I’m telling a lot about me, but I also want to share that I have hypothyroidism. I’ve had it since birth, but nobody had ever explained to me what exactly it meant.
My medicine bottle had got gotten shoved under a whole bunch of my work documents for my small business. I wasn’t properly medicating. I wasn’t sleeping, and as I said, by the end of 2007 I was in a bad place.
Just to give you an idea of what a bad place looks like, I was starting to hallucinate. I was constantly anxious. I was on the point of suicidal. My business was not doing well. I couldn’t keep up with everything, and by the time I told my husband at the time what was going on I was ready to drive my car off the road.
And this was a major turning point in my life. I want to mention here that I’m not necessarily trying to bash my ex-husband. We have a better relationship now than I have to say we ever did while we were married. But anything that is said about him is just to reflect what was going on at the time. When I admitted to him that I was feeling suicidal, I was given no choice but to admit myself to the mental hospital.
If you’ve never been in one, it’s quite an interesting place. I woke up the first morning scared out of my mind. I had no idea what I was getting into and I was surrounded by a number of very unique individuals.
In the end, we found out that the majority of my anxiety and stress was partially caused by a lack of sleep but it was also caused by my thyroid levels being severely off. I cannot remember which hormone it is – it’s either T4 or it’s TSH – but the level is supposed to be between .1 and .2, and mine was at 185.
I was given strict orders from the doctor to take care of myself because when your levels are off that much it can cause organ damage — organ shut down in the human body. So I have taken very serious care of my thyroid ever since then because I do understand the ramifications of doing otherwise.
I’m going to fast forward a little bit to when I started my current business.
It grew a lot faster than I thought it would, and I was still working a full time job when it initially started. Within about a month. I was contracted out for 80 hours a week. That doesn’t mean that I was necessarily given work for 80 hours a week but I was contracted out for it.
So I started the whole cycle again. I was working a full time job while trying to work on my client work at night. I only did that for a couple of months and then I was able to work full time during the day. But gradually over time I did grow a substantial client base, and I felt the need to work more and more staying up later every night.
This went on for about, well, over three years, and honestly it wasn’t until about July of this year that I realized I needed to do something about my sleep.
Once again I was starting to feel very anxious. To be brutally honest, I had been suffering from major anxiety for almost 10 months and it was becoming unmanageable. I wasn’t able to focus like I needed to. I wasn’t able to sleep, and my whole life – both personal and business – was taking a toll because I was not sleeping.
I began reading a few books and listening to a few podcasts which greatly helped me, and I’m going to put those books into the show notes. They are the Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte, The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte, and also I watched High Performance Academy by Brendon Burchard.
The reason I mention all three of these is because Danielle LaPorte initially got me on the road to realizing that I needed to pursue my passion and not just the money. And then Brendon in High Performance Academy started teaching me about taking care of myself – owning my own agenda; saying no; getting sleep; drinking water; reducing caffeine – a lot of vital steps I needed to take to optimize my lifestyle.
As soon as I started making a concerted effort to sleep between seven and eight hours a night, my entire life transformed.
My anxiety went away almost immediately.
I became more productive during every working hour.
I am able to spend more time with my kids because I’m able to get more done during the day.
I’ve become more clear on the packages I want to offer to my clients and…
This podcast is happening because I have the mental bandwidth to tackle a new project right now.
I want to plead with all of you listeners… If you are dealing with anxiety and stress, and your body is just really worn down, I want you to look at how much you are sleeping.
If you are only sleeping three to five hours a night, I want to encourage you to start sleeping an hour or more every night and see how it’s working for you. There are some great apps that can monitor your sleep. One of them that I know is on the iPhone and not sure about Android is Sleep Cycle, and then the next month or so I’m actually releasing my own app, the Positive Productivity app is also going to help you with your sleep.
I am very committed to helping you achieve an optimal life, a positively productive life, and I don’t want to see any of you wind up in the mental hospital like I did.
If you have any questions about anxiety, stress, or how to overcome sleep issues, please visit the podcast page on my web website at thekimsutton.com/podcast and submit a question using the submit a question form you’ll see right there at the top right of the page.
I just want to add one more note.
Even though this whole episode was about sleep, and why I would rather you do it than listen to me right now, I do want to add that anxiety is not anything you should ever be ashamed of.
If you’re feeling anxious, you don’t need to hide it. You just need to find somebody supportive in your network who can help you overcome. And I actually want to give a big shout out to my friend Jennifer right now because she did help me pull out of my cycle of anxiety. She gave me resources I needed to be able to put myself in the spot that I am at today.
If you found this episode helpful, or know of somebody who would benefit from listening to it please, please share this message. It’s really important that we, our friends, family, and loved ones take care of ourselves properly.
There is so much potential for all of us, but a lot of us don’t know the first steps that we should be taking to reach the next level of success. If you found the content helpful I would love your feedback. Please visit my site. Again, it’s thekimsutton.com/podcast or on iTunes or Stitcher. Leave me a rating and a review.
I wish you a week full of much love and positive productivity, and I will catch you in the next episode.