Charlie Can't Sleep, Wont Sleep

Sleepy Chipmunk

Every animal needs to sleep, some more than others. Chipmunks, for example, need to sleep around 15 hours per day. This is a fact our buddy Charlie Chipmunk had to learn the hard way. Read Charlie's story and ask yourself: Are you living your life like he was?

Charlie, like many chipmunks, collected hundreds of nuts a day. But for a while, poor Charlie was going too far. Fueled by the need for more nuts (preferably almonds, mixed with peanut butter and oats), Charlie started sleeping 12 hours, then ten, then eight, and sometimes only five or six! He worked day and night, ignoring his little body crying out for help. 

Shortly, he ceased to be a healthy chipmunk. He gained weight but didn't overeat. He was cranky and grumpy around his friends, though he wasn't angry at them. And despite working more hours, he didn't collect more nuts -- he was so exhausted, his little chipmunk body kept giving out. Also, he kept losing the nuts he DID gather, forcing him to work even harder.

Finally, Theodore the Turtle, while borrowing some cranberries for a new batch of Turtle Tracks, sat Charlie down for a talk. Charlie claimed he had too much to do to sit and talk, but Theodore insisted: "Charlie, you need to slow down! You're not happy, you're not healthy, you haven't even collected extra food, and your friends are gone! When's the last time Fiora the Fox stopped by? It's been a while, because you keep snapping at her.

Fiora the fox sleeping
Please, Charlie -- forget the nuts, drink some tea, and get some rest. You need it, your body needs it, and we need it too!"

Charlie wanted to argue, but he couldn't. For one thing, he was too knackered to say anything. Plus, he knew Theodore was right: Charlie was burning his little chipmunk candle at both ends and couldn't do it any longer. It was time to slumber.

As expected, Charlie fell into a deep sleep almost immediately. When he awoke 15 hours later, he found himself happier than he had been in months. And just like Theodore had predicted, a well-rested Charlie was the best Charlie. He was his happy, friendly self again, and he actually gathered more nuts in eight hours than he had in sixteen. He was a happy -- and healthy -- chipmunk again.

We can all learn from Charlie's misadventures in sleep deprivation. Sleeping less and working more is something we're increasingly expected to do, but it's simply not good for us. People need 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night -- children far more -- otherwise our health, happiness, and productivity suffer.

So learn from Charlie and take care of yourself. Get your sleep on, and we guarantee you'll find yourself bright-eyed and bushy-tailed the next morning. Of course, not as bushy-tailed as Charlie. HIS fuzzy little tail could win awards.


Looking for more resources on sleep?

Charlie really liked Matthew Walker's Ted Talk on sleep.

He also listened to Matthew Walker's in depth interview on The Peter Attia Drive podcast.


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