Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sleepy time

Being sick, I’ve been sleeping a LOT lately, so the video above, which has been making the rounds of social media this week, struck a chord with me. It discusses something that’s been a topic in our household: “How Much Sleep Do You Actually Need?” Spoiler alert: You already know the answer.

We’ve all been told that humans need roughly 8 hours of sleep each night. I say “roughly” because there’s a slight variation in the total needed, and because there are people who are genetically built to need far less sleep than the average person. Most of us aren’t gifted with those genes.

Not that many of us don’t pretend otherwise. I’ve tended to stay up late for about as long as I can remember, certainly going back to my teens. This would be fine if I also got up late, but I don’t: For some insane reason, the world likes to start early in the morning.

So, I have a conflict in that I’m often at my most creative at night, even late at night, but getting up early means I’m sleep deprived, as has been pointed out to me. So, some time ago I decided to try and get 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and have had more successes than not (there have still been nights, however, when I get enthralled by whatever I’m working on or learning about and, well, I get far less than 7 or 8 hours).

I know from my own subjective observations that 7.5 to 8.5 hours is the ideal for me. Any more and I feel half asleep all day (like my head is full of stuffing); any less and I probably feel tired (six or less and I’ll feel sleepy, too).

What I didn’t know until I watched the video is that research shows that getting too much sleep can cause many of the same health problems as sleeping too little. Not that there’s any danger of me getting too much sleep.

Like most people, I knew the substantive stuff in this video. Putting it into practice is the challenge for me. Right now, though, I’m off to look up a video on admitting other people were right about something…


rogerogreen said...

Somehow, all sorts of sleepy songs come to mind, notably Sleepy Time Time, from a live Cream album c 2005

coreplane said...

To recite my favourite quote from Arthur Dent, "So that's it then, we're all going to die." Especially me. More coffee please ...