Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Sleep is Waaay Underrated
This week’s blogpost is about sleep. You know…that thing we do when we lay down our heads upon our nightly pillows. That thing that many of us don’t get enough of. Oh sure, we take long sleep recovery breaks on the weekend--after work, in the heart of the work week. We try to make up for the lack of sleep, by getting 10 to 12 hours on Saturday and Sunday. Yet during the week, many of us survive (and thrive) on less than four hours sleep per night. What we don’t realize is that sleep is a natural part of living—as much as is eating, walking,talking, thinking, and drinking.
I’m one of those that fall into the category of not getting enough sleep. The reason for this is because, at many times, I enjoy that extra hour of daylight. Yet within my heart of hearts, I understand that I’m not doing myself a service. As a matter fact, I’m probably doing myself a large and great disservice. It’s only now--today that we are starting to understand the benefits of sleep and the harm that it does to us when we don’t get enough sleep.
Scientists and researchers have come to learn that the average human being requires a minimum of six hours sleep per night of uninterrupted sleep. And a regular sleep of eight hours per night is recommended by most researchers, scientists, and doctors. The benefits include the following: a sharp mind, a rested body, a regular eating pattern, and a balanced temperament.
A new type of medical research has found a condition call sleep apnea. Sleep apnea, spelled as A-P-N-E-A has contributed to heart disease, reduced oxygen flow to the brain, and a decrease in metacognition. Sleep goes through four cycles doing a normal night of sleep. Those sleep cycles are call the circadian rhythm. The sleep cycle starts in phase one, then in usually a hour, and then moving on to phases to three and four. The second third and fourth phases, are named Beta, Delta, and finally Theta.
During phases one to three, the eyes began a pattern of rapid eye movement, moving left and right…left and right --very very fast. It is during this rapid eye movement, that the brain waves start to slow and move into a more sedate of sleep cycle. Once the human mind, or the brain, moves into this stage, it continues on for a dozen interchanges for all through the night. The brain will typically move at will, between stages 2 and 3 and then on to 4…repeating itself again and again.
It should be obvious that sleep is very important. But don’t take my word for it, see if you could go more in one day without any sleep at all. Once I was watching a TV show called House, M.D. Dr. House had said that the average patient could live only 10 days without sleep before dying. I’ve often wondered about that, yet have never tried it for myself. The important thing to realize here is that sleep is a natural and beneficial part of living. We do need sleep, whether we realize it or not.
So I’m asking all of you all, to join with me for the next 30 days. And during the next 30 days, I plan to receive a minimum of six hours of sleep every night. I hope to see what the benefits are or the outcome of that how it turns out. There was a medical journal that said that persons who receive regular sleep between 6 to 8 hours a night lose weight. Not that dozens make any sense for me but I said to myself, I think I should try it. So I do plan to get more sleep…particularly during the weekdays. I hope you will too. Listen to this episode or Download this episode (right click and save)