“You can sleep when you’re dead!” is a phrase we have all heard to coerce us to do something despite the fact that we are tired. Whether it’s a night out, waking up early for an outdoor adventure, or pulling an all-nighter studying, the thought that you are better off or even stronger for pushing through a lack of sleep rather than getting rest is quite toxic, according to Psychology today. This phenomenon is called sleep machismo, and is prevalent in many types of hustle culture. However, this is a dangerous tactic, as restorative sleep is imperative to our well being. 

Our high pressure society takes pride in needing little to no sleep, being hyper productive and often equates sleeping with laziness or weakness. Those who think that sleeping However, this is not the case. 

When we get a full night’s rest, we are able to be far more productive and are often in a better head space than when we are battling sleep deprivation. Some common signs of sleep deprivation to watch out for include trouble waking up or getting out of bed in the  morning, mood swings, trouble concentrating or focusing, and even being impatient or impulsive. It’s in everyone’s best interest to ditch the machismo attitude and instead opt for listening to your body’s needs when it comes to sleep. You know you best, and getting enough sleep will only make for a better you.

Now that we can identify Sleep Machismo, how do we fight against this culture of no sleep? 

  1. Encourage friends, family, and coworkers to find time to rest. If you see someone you care about struggling with Sleep Machismo kindly disagree with them. Inform them about the truth of sleep and how it is far more beneficial to their goals than getting in the way of achieving them.
  2. Have some friendly phrases ready to go for the people around you who are pro no sleep! For example, Happiness consists of getting enough sleep, Bill Gates said almost certainly need seven to eight hours a night, “even if you've convinced yourself otherwise.” and Einstein reportedly slept 10 hours a night - nearly 1 and a half times as much as the average person. 
  3. No is a sentence. You don’t need to explain your reasoning of needing to take time for you to rest.