Our society seems to value getting by on very little sleep. How many times have you heard someone say, “Yep, I get by on five hours a night,” and you think, “I should be able to do that.”
But the thing is your body needs deep, uninterrupted sleep every night. Sleep is when your brain reorganizes and recharges. When you cut that short, you wake up groggy. You can’t answer a question until you’ve had at least two cups of coffee. You fantasize about taking a nap as you head into a late afternoon meeting. You have a heck of a time staying focused. And good luck getting to the things you want to get done.
You may feel like you’re getting by just fine, but new medical studies show that a lack of regular sleep can have significant health implications – with brain diseases like Alzheimer’s, and on your over-all good health.
I loved a recent write-up in the Smithsonian about how even jellyfish have to sleep. This means that this sea creature becomes completely vulnerable for certain periods of the day or night – and yet has survived for millennia.
In this study, scientists observed the jellyfish experiencing “quiet time” during certain periods of the day and theorized that they were sleeping. To test out their theory, they “poked” the jellyfish with water every 20 minutes during their normal sleep time. And don’t you know the next day the jellyfish were 17% less active. Just like you feel when you cut sleep short. Those jellyfish couldn’t get anything done!
Check this out. It’s a great article and the video includes incredible photography.
Bottom line: “Sleep has an important and ancient function.”
Let’s give sleep the respect it deserves and get some zzz’s! 🙂
- Set as regular a sleep schedule as you can.
- Clear the bed of pets and kids!
- Sleep with a pillow you love.
- Sleep under covers you love – not too hot, not too cold.
- If you are in a noisy area or room, use earplugs to neutralize sounds.
- Cover your eyes if the area is bright.
- Slow down before you hit the sheets to help you slide right into sleep.
Sending you Zen wishes from the rocky coast of Maine where the temps are near 90 today! The hibiscus is flourishing and the pumpkins are almost ready to harvest 🙂
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