Don’t go back to Sleep

Don’t go back to Sleep

I know some people love their beds and love to sleep but not me. We spend a third of our lives asleep. What a waste, makes me want to cry…

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The Princess and the Pea | illustrations Christian Birmingham

I can manage with little sleep and I love mornings but sadly I’m a long way from the likes of Thomas Edison and his team, Winston Churchill, Napoleon, Martha Stewart or the other people in history including our own Michael Collins all famous for many things including ‘non-sleeping.’

sleeping
Click pic for link

One of my favourite quotes of all time comes from ancient mystic and poet Rumi…

‘The wind at dawn has secrets to tell you, don’t go back to sleep’

This quote, this idea for me is beautiful and inspiring. It contains magic. It makes my heart sing. It makes me feel the short time we get in life, the possibilities along the way. It makes me never want to sleep another day…

sleeping beauty
Sleeping Beauty ~ Nadezhda Illarionova

Recently I read an article about the great inventor Thomas Edison. His belief that sleep was a ‘waste of time’ and his ‘extreme compulsion for productivity‘ thrilled me senseless and I’m not joking.

If there is a personal quality I would like to have above anything else it would be what one person described in Edison as the inventor’s “untiring energy and phenomenal endurance”. Who wouldn’t I suppose. Another description…

‘He is not the man to be daunted by obstacles. When one of his inventions failed — a printing machine — he took five men into the loft of his factory, declaring he would never come down till it worked satisfactorily. For two days, and nights and twelve hours — sixty hours in all — he worked continuously without sleep, until he had conquered the difficulty; and then he slept for thirty hours.’

I don’t know about you but I just find that level of devotion so inspiring! I showed it to my Dad and he was lit up by it too.

In one interview it was put to Edison…

‘You lay down rather severe rules for one who wishes to succeed in life working eighteen hours a day.’

‘Not at all,’ he said. ‘You do something all day long, don’t you? Every one does. If you get up at seven o’clock and go to bed at eleven, you have put in sixteen good hours, and it is certain with most men, that they have been doing something all the time. They have been either walking, or reading, or writing, or thinking. The only trouble is that they do it about a great many things and I do it about one. If they took the time in question and applied it in one direction, to one object, they would succeed. Success is sure to follow such application. The trouble lies in the fact that people do not have an object, one thing, to which they stick, letting all else go. Success is the product of the severest kind of mental and physical application.’

But my favourite quote from Edison by far is…

‘I have got so much to do and life is so short, I’m going to hustle’

picking flowers
Illustration by Edmund Dul

Read the original article about Edison by clicking HERE



6 thoughts on “Don’t go back to Sleep”

  • Like Christine, I find you truly inspiring! I still have a baby that wakes frequently to nurse, so sleep is sacred!! But I do hope to practice unsleeping when they are a little older. Pictures are just beautiful xx

  • I’m in Emily’s club. Sleep stolen. Up at 4:30 this am, I do enjoy the perspective of watching the sun come up and stealing time for myself as the baby went back to sleep. I read, after three days of sleep deprivation, you no longer notice. And it’s not the sleep we’re banishing but the productivity and the difference we’re making that is being celebrated. Right?
    Love Ya’,
    Shalagh

  • Jane…Both you and Edison are inspiring. I just love those pictures. I need my sleep but have recenlty been trying to get to bed earlier in order to get up earlier, I find the best way to start the day is to be up before the children.

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