Monday, June 23, 2014

Sleep as Much as You Actually Need

For the longest time, I have had the pattern of sleeping only five hours a night.  It's such a pattern that when I vary my sleep times, from 11 PM, say, to 1 AM or to 9 PM, I am awake five hours later.  This is such a pattern that I can use my sleep as a gauge for how I'm doing: If I sleep more than that, then I must be exhausted and need the additional hours.  If I sleep less than that, then something is stressful or troublesome for me, and it is needs attention and resolution.  As much as I can, I also give myself the freedom to nap.  I don't drink coffee, and I minimize caffeinated drinks.  So when I'm tired or sleepy, I find a way to take a nap.  With my naps, then, I sleep 6 - 7 hours in a 24-hour day.  Which is more typical of others, apparently. I am alert and mindful, I have good concentration, and I have the energy to work a long day.

All that said, the notion of a pill that helps us sleep less is disturbing.  There are incidents or events that require us to sleep less or to interrupt our sleep.  As long as that isn't a pattern, then it's manageable.  But I am of the belief that we must sleep however much our bodies need.  Subjecting our bodies to unnatural situations for a length of time is a recipe for trouble.  Case in point: Arianna Huffington, who suggests to a group of women that they ought to sleep their way to the top.

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