Friday, June 26, 2015

Is Sleep Overrated?

Why is it that some people say they need nine hours sleep and others say they need six? Some insist that eight hours is the requirement for everyone. My observation is that we all have different metabolisms so that defining the number of hours everyone else needs doesn't make sense. One thing is a given, though. Our bodies do need rest. And when we're exhausted, there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good night's sleep.

According to the National Institutes of Health, "sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety."

The NIH website goes on to say, "Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke."

Modern science has done a lot of research on sleep. They keep trying to figure out what happens with we dream, too. And what is it that makes deep sleep so beneficial?

You can read more of what NIH has to say on the subject here.

We've all sacrificed sleep at one time or another in our lives, especially if we've ever been parents. Fortunately those little ones become big ones and don't require our attention at all hours of the night.

Here are some quotes about sleep, some of them just for the fun of it.

“I’m not a very good sleeper. But you know what? I’m willing to put in a few extra hours every day to get better. That’s just the kind of hard worker I am.”
~ Jarod Kintz

“Some people talk in their sleep. Lecturers talk while other people sleep.”
~ Albert Camus

“There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep.”
~ Homer, The Odyssey

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book.
~ Irish Proverb

"If a man had as many ideas during the day as he does when he has insomnia, he'd make a fortune."
~ Griff Niblack

"It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it."
~ John Steinbeck

"Finish each day before you begin the next, and interpose a solid wall of sleep between the two." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sleep is one of those things that we think about and talk about for the duration of our lives, in part because our sleep patterns change and in part how we feel is often directly related to how well we're sleeping at any point in our lives. This past winter I wrote a poem about sleep as if she were a lover: It's Time To Get Tired.

Right this moment, however, it's time to get dressed and head off to work. It's a new day. 

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