This post is on sleep, but I just couldn’t force myself to put “How Much Sleep Does Your Body Need” as the title. Let’s focus on sleeping “too much”. I think a lot of people wind up sleeping too much, out of boredom with life. I believe that most people who sleep excessively are at least mildly depressed. You only get one shot at life, so don’t waste it by sleeping too much.
[Tanya doesn't like to use a pillow when she sleeps...it messes up her makeup]
A Lesson I Learned in My Early 20′s
I know I have a lot of young socialites who read my blog…so I thought I would share my experiences a bit. I used to be big in the club and rave scene back in the early 90′s. I was in a fraternity before that. Yes…I know what it means to stay up very, very, late (or early if you want to think of it that way). Those nights that you stay out until 6-9AM the following day are great every now and then, but realize that you are sacrificing the following day…just for a few more hours of fun. Try to get out by 2AM most of the time…nothing really changes after 2AM anyway. That way you can get up at 9:00AM on a Sunday and be to the beach or somewhere outdoors by Noon.
So is 8 Hours the Optimum Amount of Sleep?
Just like anything else, people differ on the amount of sleep that they need. Two thinks that you need to consider are a person’s “Basal Sleep Need” and “Sleep Debt”. There have been two extensive studies that show that a person’s basal sleep need is 7 to 8 hours. For the most part people don’t differ that much when it comes to this…sleep debt is another story.
What is “Sleep Debt” and Why is It Important?
Sleep debt is the accumulated sleep that is lost due to bad sleep habits or missing sleep for any reason, such as having to get up early for work, etc. So if your basal sleep need is 8 hours and you are getting only 6-7 hours of sleep a night, that 1-2 hours begins to accumulate …this is your total “sleep debt”. If that sleep debt creeps up to 8-10 hours, it is almost like missing an entire night’s sleep.
What If Your Sleep Debt Gets High?
If your sleep debt gets too high, your immune system will weaken and you will be irritable. Get this…just missing one and 1/2 hours of sleep can result in a 32% reduction in daytime alertness. A 1997 study found that people whose sleep was restricted to four to five hours per night for one week needed two full nights of sleep to recover performance, alertness and normal mood. So the cure for sleep debt is to make sure you get 2-3 days in a row of 8-9 hours of sleep.
I’d Still Rather Sleep Too Little Than Too Much!
Life is short! My theory is that I can rest in my grave. I wrote that stuff about sleep debt, because I wanted to show that too little of sleep can be bad…but I want to be perfectly honest…I believe it is WAY better to get too little sleep throughout your life than too much! Sorry to send mixed messages. I do want to present both sides of the story here.
Carpe Diem (Seize The Day)
This one of my favorite movie scenes of all time. It was from the movie “The Dead Poets Society”. This scene had an impact on my life and I would really like to share it with you. I think over 80% of attaining any goal lies in your motivation. Please do yourself a favor and watch this 5 minute clip. It will be better than any stuff you will see on TV in the next few years. Seriously…it still gives me chills!
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