I love to sleep. Mind you, I don’t sleep in or take naps. I just like my regular bedtime. My friends and colleagues poke some gentle fun at me because I go to bed by 10:00 p.m, even on weekends. Yes, you read that right – 10:00 p.m. I’ve always believed that sleep is one of the most important things I can do for myself. I’m not completely selfish, because if I don’t get enough sleep, others can suffer too!
It’s nothing new that we need regular, healthy sleep patterns in order to help our bodies repair. Everyone knows, but so many people don’t manage to do it. When I was principal of a school, one of the first things I would check when we had a student struggling with behaviour was sleep patterns. More often than not, sleep for that child was an issue: either not enough or very irregular.
I’m a member of the generation whose parents made sure we got at least 12 hours every night. I remember going to bed at 7:30 in the summertime when it was still light. I never liked it, except that I secretly did. A big thanks to my parents for establishing such good sleep patterns – I was so fortunate.
There’s a whole chapter on sleep in Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. Greg McKeown makes some excellent points but he basically says that we all need between 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Everyone who thinks they don’t and therefore don’t get enough sleep suffers and is not as productive or happy as they might be. Hmm, happiness is related to sleep. Seems like a really good reason to get more.
The documentary While You Were Sleeping just aired on CBC TV‘s The Nature of Things. It’s fascinating and lets us all know, again, that sleep is one of the most important body functions, right up there with eating and drinking. The consequences of sleep deprivation are serious and life threatening.
So why don’t we all get enough sleep? There are lots of tips available that might take a few weeks to implement but are very doable. It might seem easy to say, “I’m too busy”, or “I’m a night owl” or “I just don’t need that much sleep.” Really?
Sleep is essential. How are you going to get more?