FOMO is the fear of missing out. FOMOOS is the fear of missing out on sleep! Ok, I made it up. But FOMOOS is what I have. FOMO is a scourge that has afflicted much of my generation and certainly the next generation. When photos and recaps of activities are splashed all over social media at every minute of every day, everyone knows what everyone else is doing all the time. And we get envious of other people having fun all the time (or at least looking like it on social media) and leaving us out. My hubs has FOMO real bad. If you invite him out to dinner or after work drinks or a party or a weekend getaway, he’s probably going to go no matter how jam packed his schedule is. I, on the other hand, am increasingly concerned about how my overpacked schedule is affecting how much sleep I’m able to get. I mused here about how busy we have all become and how much we focus on filling up every minute of every day. One consequence of that way of living is that I start to worry way in advance about how tired I know I’ll be, and it stresses me out. Perhaps this emphasis on sleep is because I’m getting older, or perhaps it’s because I’ve started to focus on living purposefully and with intention, or perhaps it just because I’m hitting my lack of sleep limit?
One thing I do know is that we need sleep! And FOMOOS is a real thing, not just about being a bit lazy. I recently listened to an amazing TED Radio Hour episode that focused on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, one of which is sleep. You know I love TED Radio Hour – I shared here some of my favorite podcast stations and this one one of them. This episode in particular was illuminating. I’ve never thought much about why we need sleep or what sleep does for our bodies, our psyche, our emotions. I’ve spent a LOT of time trying to figure out to how operate on less sleep. For years I have made a New Year’s resolution to train myself to rely on less sleep. I’m not sure that’s possible and I’m quite sure it’s not healthy. I’ve never been someone who needs a huge amount of sleep – never slept in until noon or absolutely panicked if I couldn’t get a full 8 hours a night. But I have realized that I cannot fully function or be the best version of myself on only 4-5 hours a night, and I’m not alone.