‘Early to Bed and Early To Rise Makes A Man Healthy, Wealthy and Wise’ – Benjamin Franklin
Feel like you need more sleep to cope with your life – well, it means you probably do. Today, In our fast, active, and technologically-engaged modern lifestyles sleep is one of the first things we sacrifice – But You Shouldn’t! There are sound medical reasons for getting enough shut-eye each night to increase performance and mood during the day, and everyone needs a differing amount depending on their genetics and body clock.
Since rest and rejuvenation is a known factor increasing the body’s ability to process learning and absorb new information during the day, why would you get any less than you deserve?
There are common misconceptions about the process sleep plays in the body’s regulation of health that has led us to believe cutting corners with it won’t count. That’s So Wrong! Following are a few sleep myths debunked about what actually happens during your sleeping hours:
- Your brain remains active while your body relaxes and recuperates its muscle tone and processes digestion and blood cleansing – it’s the time when subconscious processing takes place. Your brain never sleeps!
- While the average adult needs around 8 hours of sleep to function normally during waking hours, times vary between adults and are not related to your daily schedule. You cannot ‘train’ yourself to get by with less sleep, nor ‘bank’ extra sleep hours during holidays or quiet times to make up for lack of sleep.
- Sleeping in won’t overturn the effects of weekly sleep loss – it will just throw out your body clock’s established circadian patterns and make deep, rejuvenating sleep harder to regularly maintain.
- Changing sleep patterns due to jet lag, shift work, young children’s care or health factors are not easy to overcome. It takes time to get to know your regular sleeping pattern so be prepared to adjust your sleep and waking times to these responsibilities.
Sleep Through Your Life
Finally, it’s also misunderstood that older people don’t always require less sleep! Adults need the same amount of rest throughout their life – if you are sleeping less as you age it may be more a case of suffering from medical conditions that restrict your chance to rest peacefully, or finding it uncomfortable to relax with the natural ageing process affecting your body and its mechanisms. Think about transferring your sleeping routine from a horizontal bed to adjustable bases or chairs with firm mattress support, or for those really struggling to regain their sleep, relocate your sleeping spots around the home in various warm comfortable spaces to encourage more rest.
How much sleep do I need?
Study the sleep myths above and if they apply to you, get to know how much sleep you need in each 24-hour period. Establish Your Sleep Routine with regular waking and retiring hours and make sure your bedroom or resting place is warm, comfortable and not easily disturbed by outside noises. If you have extra time on weekends or when work projects are finished to catch up on sleep, why not look at readjusting your daily sleeping pattern to take this into account, and pick up an exercise or meditation class in those down hours? In the long run a good night’s sleep is worth it – and always remember, no matter your age you deserve it!