Sleeping Beauty Does Not A Good Blogger Make

by derek on October 3, 2008 · 37 comments

Not too long ago, I shared a brief overview of what a typical day in the life of Derek looks like and mentioned that I typically slept for only 2-4 hours per night.
Over the last week or two, I have been trying to adjust my schedule in order to get more sleep on a nightly basis. Initially, I found myself more tired than usual during the day and that resulted in falling asleep even earlier the next night.
Just this week I had commented that a post was delayed by a day because I had fallen asleep before I had a chance to draft a post. As a matter of fact, I had the same thing happen last night as I fell asleep on the couch while watching the Dodgers dismantle the Cubs.
Twice in one week I missed publishing a post because I fell asleep.
On the positive side, one can argue that my body is obviously telling me that the additional sleep is sorely needed and that this is good for me. However, I have been having a hard time adjusting to more sleep as it has had an impact on my blogging. Not only have there been days without publishing a post but I have also been unable to visit all of the blogs that I enjoy reading as often as I would like.
Is it possible to work a full-time job, be a good husband and father, write one or more successful blogs and get a respectable amount of sleep?
Right now, I am not so sure.
It seems that something in the equation has got to give. Up until recently, that something had always been the quantity and quality of my sleep. As I have been getting more sleep, I feel that the success of my blogs has suffered.
When considering my long-term health, I can see the benefits of foregoing the work on my blogs for additional sleep but in the here and now, I am not sure that is the best course of action.
Is it possible to have my cake and eat it too?
Having the ability to maintain multiple blogs and get a full night of sleep do not necessarily have to be mutually exclusive. It is quite possible that I simply need better time management skills and that would allow me to achieve a healthier balance between blog activities and sleep.
For instance, I could work on dedicating blocks of time to writing posts in order to have multiple posts ready to publish. I’ve tried that a few times in the past but eventually revert back to the “post on the fly” method that I am using now.
In order to find that balance, it will be necessary to take a hard look at the activities that consume the most amount of time and decide if they are worth the required effort.
Does spending time on twitter really offer value? Do each of the 75-100 blogs in my Google Reader provide enough value to justify the time spent reading? Is it worth the time to moderate and respond to comments as often as possible?
Some of these questions are easier to answer than others.
By answering the difficult questions, I may find my answer as to whether or not Sleeping Beauty can be a good blogger.

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Jon@Custom T-Shirts October 3, 2008 at 8:21 pm

Only 2-4 hours Derek?? That is very unhealthy! I’m glad you’re working on fixing it though.

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derek October 3, 2008 at 9:11 pm

I’d love to get more sleep, its just that darn day job keeps getting in the way! 😉

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Tom - StandOutBlogger.com October 4, 2008 at 9:36 am

I find for the first couple of days of decent sleep, after getting barely any for a while, it is hard and you find yourself more tired then before, but it does get much better!
Tom – StandOutBlogger.coms last blog post..What To Expect From StandOutBlogger In October!

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Ling@Uptake October 3, 2008 at 8:53 pm

Blogging burnout is quite normal. What you need is a break. Like 15-20 days or a month. When you come back, the guilt of not having blogged pushes you to go at it real hard. Course, the affect on the blog’s traffic and finances ain’t pretty, but like you say – Something gotta give.

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derek October 3, 2008 at 9:12 pm

There is a break coming in a couple of weeks, so be on the lookout for an announcement regarding guest posts in the near future. 🙂

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Kelvin Kao October 3, 2008 at 10:57 pm

Well, if you’ve got to sleep, then you’ve got to sleep. Sleeping so little on regular basis is probably not a good idea. I don’t know how much you can improve though, since you said you crank out post really quickly already.
What are you doing when you watch baseball? Maybe you could’ve been blogging at the same time?
Kelvin Kaos last blog post..Cools Links to Check Out (09/28/2008 edition)

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derek October 6, 2008 at 9:25 pm

Lately I watch very little television, but I usually will do things such as respond to email, twitter, and read other blogs while watching/listening to the game.

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Saby from Christmas October 4, 2008 at 2:05 am

You definetely should sleep much more. At least 6 hours. It is impossible and unhealthy to sleep so few
Saby from Christmass last blog post..Christmas Crafts for Kids

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web design company October 4, 2008 at 4:07 am

Maintaining a blog is a time consuming task and requires a lot of patience and hard work. Maintaining just a single blog ofte requires a few hours of work a day, so one can only imagibe what it must be like to maintain multiple blogs. Good luck…!
web design companys last blog post..How Can a Small Company Maximise the Benefits of Internet

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Nicole Price October 4, 2008 at 4:56 am

Am I glad that nature is sending you the right signals. If you hear them right, you will do the right thing. Not to worry. It will all fall into place. Take it from a pro!

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derek October 6, 2008 at 9:26 pm

Time will tell. One thing I have enjoyed is that I have found it easier to get up in the morning when my alarm goes off at 4-something.

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Mal October 4, 2008 at 6:57 am

I work with 15 full time SEO and we all blog a lot. And we all have night after night with less than 4 hours sleep. But your body cannot take it forever. As you get older you cannot just catchup on the weekends. So my recommendation is get medical insurance incase you discover you have sleep apnea like I did, and try to “take 5” a couple times during the week. Even a luxurious 6 hours down – wow that sounds sooo good. Cheers
Mals last blog post..Fruit Custard Pie

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kouji@haiku poems examples October 5, 2008 at 10:24 pm

true. doesn’t seem like enough sleep. and blogging’s pretty brain intensive work so your mind needs to be able to recover. :O
koujis last blog post..haiku poem: poverty (goodsearch)

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Charlie on PA Tpk@Nobody asked me, but... October 6, 2008 at 6:40 am

I have been living on an average of 5 hours of sleep per night for about 13 years now… (coincidentally, our oldest son will turn 13 next month). That average includes getting about 6-7 hours on the weekend, and 5 or less per night during the week.
In between, I work 40-45 hour week, drive 2 hrs each way to work, squeeze in at least 2 1-hr martial arts work-outs, Boy Scout meetings, baseball (for the 5 year old), and the rest for my much-better-half.
Blogging, of late, has lacked but that’s because I am desperately trying to resurrect my personal PC after motherboard failure, so that’s outside the scope of this discussion.
I don’t believe the hype about 6 or more hours anymore than I believe in the food pyramid (now or before it’s face-lift).
Charlie on PA Tpks last blog post..What is so comforting about certain foods? A prior post revisited

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derek October 6, 2008 at 9:29 pm

It sounds like we are on similar schedules with an equally brutal commute. As you mention, I don’t necessarily buy into the rule of thumb that everyone needs X number of hours of sleep as each person is different and needs different things.
While I do think I could benefit from a little extra sleep, my biggest problem is that to get 6-8 hours of sleep, I need to go to bed around 9-10pm and that just doesn’t happen very often.

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Nicole Price October 6, 2008 at 8:40 am

Looks as though you are finally catching up!

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Bob @ ipod repair October 6, 2008 at 9:44 am

I have tried the twitter thing but I never liked it all the much.

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derek October 6, 2008 at 9:30 pm

Yeah, it isn’t for everyone. I find that my twitter use is hot and cold, some times I will be on there way too much over a day or two but then I don’t visit for a few days.

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Dawn October 6, 2008 at 12:09 pm

It’s hard to believe you get 2-3 hrs of sleep every night and still managage to do all that you do.
Not only is it unhealthy for your body but mentally as well. We need sleep to restore muscle tissue and mental energy.
The amount we need varies depending on the individual, we typically need between 7-8 hours a night.
It’s good to hear you are adjusting your schedule to include sleeping. Not only you but your family will reap the benefits.

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derek October 6, 2008 at 9:32 pm

Lately I have been getting closer to 5 hours of sleep a night, sometimes 6 hours if I sleep in a little. So far it seems to be working pretty well and I am beginning to build it into my routine.

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Damien October 6, 2008 at 8:46 pm

Okay, a blogger of high dexterity who posts pictures and text of his elbow rubbing with Ted Murphy and Lorelle van Fossen expects us to believe he considers quitting the craft? Tell me another one.
Let’s get one thing straight … not to be an ass or anything but every person needs 6 hours of sleep a night. Get that and then do your life stuff such as work and blogging. If you don’t have time, don’t let your sleep be the place that pays. 🙂
Damien Riley

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derek October 6, 2008 at 9:35 pm

Lol, I have been fortunate to rub elbows with some incredibly talented people and I am thankful for that every day.
It isn’t so much that I want my sleep to suffer, but I love staying up late at night. Unfortunately, my pesky day job requires me to be up early, otherwise I would be getting that 6-8 hours without problem.

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Nick@romandock dot com October 7, 2008 at 6:48 pm

Look who’s talking about knowing famous people!
Nicks last blog post..I Am Finally In Market Leverage

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Colin Klinkert October 6, 2008 at 9:46 pm

nice post! thanks for sharing!! 🙂

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olly@cheap computer parts October 7, 2008 at 2:58 am

I just cannot function correctly without at least 7 hours – I don’t know how you do it!
The lack of time I get though is apparent and sometimes I am kind of envious to those that can get away with less sleep – they have more free time to themselves!
Hopefully within a few more months your online income can grow enough to reduce your day job hours! This is what I hope for with my online ventures!

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Justin@Airsoft Guns October 7, 2008 at 4:50 am

I can’t believe you’ve been functioning all this time from 2-4 hours of sleep. You should try to at least get six, and that still leaves 18 hours a day for other things. You’ll learn to manage this, it’s just that the initial phases of change are the hardest.

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peter@Peteranswer October 7, 2008 at 8:50 am

I used to live on 4-5 hours a sleep per night until I switched to decaf coffee – now I get 6-7. Of course that also means I lost productivity!
peters last blog post..Best Phone Prank Ever

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Charlie on PA Tpk@Nobody asked me, but... October 7, 2008 at 8:57 am

decafe?? Why? I mean, what’s the point?
Charlie on PA Tpks last blog post..What is so comforting about certain foods? A prior post revisited

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Nick@romandock dot com October 7, 2008 at 6:52 pm

Maybe it’s the watching baseball that is putting you to sleep 😛
It’s funny that this is happening to you after posting about how much sleep you don’t get…perhaps that brought it into your mind and so you needed to start sleeping more.
I hope my blog isn’t one of the ones that you decide you need to cut out! I can totally sympathize with your dilemma. It’s really hard to work, blog, sleep, and still have a life. As of yet I haven’t found a good solution (obviously) but if I figure something out I’ll let you know.
Nicks last blog post..I Am Finally In Market Leverage

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derek October 7, 2008 at 6:58 pm

Well, now that the White Sox are out of the playoffs, I don’t need to worry about baseball consuming my time, lol.
Your blog is not one that is in the bucket to be cut out by any means, although I do need to visit more rather than simply read from my RSS reader.
If you discover the magic formula, be sure to let me know. 😉

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pauletet October 9, 2008 at 9:22 pm

Hope you have both:) Money is nothing if your health is at stake. We only have 1 life to live:)

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John@Chicago Mattress Sale November 18, 2008 at 4:34 pm

I know I often having trouble concentrating when I’m sleep deprived. My work also tends to suffer.

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Cath December 9, 2008 at 10:36 am

there have also been well documented that people can get to much sleep. Interesting concept though. I agree with pauletet that you should not sacrifice your health for anything.

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Sean@Coffee Mom October 6, 2009 at 8:20 am

I need to have coffee while blogging! Its my stimulant!

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Angela May 23, 2010 at 10:57 am

Different people have different sleep requirements. If you weren’t feeling tired on your previous sleep schedule maybe adding extra sleep isn’t for you. I know if I oversleep I’m much more tired than if I had slept “enough”.

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A.R. May 16, 2012 at 9:39 am

I definitely agree that different people need different amounts of sleep. Some people truly on seem to need six or seven hours, while for someone else it is most natural to sleep for nine or even ten hours. I think the most important thing is listening to our bodies – they should know what they need.

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