It’s a miserable problem for some of us (maybe not you because you’re one of those weirdos who can seem to function without much sleep, or so you say or want to believe). I believe you are fooling yourself.
Scientists and researchers know that sleep is a very big deal. Think about it. They have created sleep centers. I have visited them, twice. The gadgets and gizmos they wire you up to surpass futuristic thinking. Wires are stuck to your head, your hair, your temples, your arm pits, navel (well ok forget that one), feet, ankles, calves, chest and neck. Then an oxygen recorder is placed on your finger. Abdominal belts and chest belts complete the ensemble! Next you are told to get into a bed that sits in the middle of a room with no windows (and no clocks) located in the basement of a facility that has not seen fresh air in eons! Eerie looking long corridors with closed doors dotting every few feet alert you to the realization that there are comatose, wired-up weirdos like me in them.
“Now sleep,” they say. And, just as soon as you have finally found a way to lay comfortably so that nothing is choking you, or pulling your hair or toe nails off, or beeping, with your head on a pillow made of lumpy stuff that is way too flat, they wake you up and say, “go to sleep, you’re not sleeping yet.” No kidding!
Well, I failed their test both times. In fact, one of the technicians in charge of my visit asked if I had been practicing to fail since I did it so well!
I have this intolerance to stupid. It’s not nice I know, I have tried really to be more tolerant. I just can’t. And, you can’t fix stupid either! These places dress people up in all this electrical stuff in a strange place where they don’t want you to know what time it is, don’t give you anything to help, in a bed that’s not yours with a mattress with springs that squeak, and expect you to sleep. Oh, and you can’t roll over for fear of electrocution and or stabbing.
Researchers at Harvard and in the UK, brilliant people they say these researchers are, have figured out a few things about sleep. One of those things they have determined is that we need it. Yup, we do not function well without it. Brilliant.
Actually, they also decided doctors should prescribe it to their tired patients or to the immunodeficient. Patients need at least the bare minimum of 7 hours, in a row, not broken up. Yes, that’s 7 hours at Least of good sleep. More is even better (or you will die by age 60. Hey, I read it on the internet!)
Mathew Walker is the genius behind these findings. He’s a phenom in research, just ask him (unless you’re on a plane and ask him what he does for a living, and he doesn’t want to talk about it, then he says he’s a dolphin trainer.)
Now back to sleep, it is a serious issue. Lack of enough of it can kill you. Another way we know it is a big thing, congress has appropriated money for it. I was watching the State of the Union a few years ago and a Supreme Court Judge was getting some shut eye right there. Smart lady.
Babies do a lot of it and see how it helps them! Yup, they sleep a lot and are the smartest they may ever be. They learn to do everything, quickly and well because they sleep a lot. Babies get crabby when they don’t get enough of it and so do adults! They get mean, cranky, have road rage and become yelling thugs. They all have one thing in common. They are sleep deprived.
Babies learn languages, music, numbers, speech, talking, walking, exercising and completely controlling adults, all by the age of 2. Another thing, no one calls them lazy because they sleep a lot.
Walker found out that old people still need just as much sleep as their younger counterparts. It’s a myth that they don’t. Some older people have health issues and parts wear out. There’s less of that if they slept more. Lack of sleep is also a big “no no” if you’re driving a vehicle, operating machinery or making decisions at work. Your productivity will nosedive. However, if you are always sleep deprived and that has become normal for you, then no one may notice. You will just be viewed as being in your normal state.
The above, of course does not apply to doctors. Doctors in training are always subjected to sleep deprivation, then told to make life or death decisions. No, I am serious. More people die from medical errors every year than from all 3 major health diseases combined: Heart, Cancer, and Accidents.
The government is being asked to get involved, to tell people to sleep more and they will be brighter; to start school days later and have parents prove their children all got their ZZZZ’s in for the proper amounts of time, or else. Else what, they don’t know, but little Johnny will be retarded.
In all seriousness it is turning out to be a really important health giving component to our lives. So turn off computers, tvs and phones. Get rid of LED or blue lights in your bedroom. Dark is needed, your brain has important things to do and you are bothering it. Go to sleep and know this: Our sleep is cycular. We sleep in 3-hour cycles and we need several cycles each night. So you’re not lazy.
It is not laziness or slothful to require 9 to 10 hours of sleep a night. We’re each unique, some of us need early to bed and early to rise, about 30% of us actually. Then there is another 30% who go to sleep later and wake later. It’s ok, leave us alone.
President Trump and others who get by on less are harming themselves. Lack of sleep causes memory and cognitive issues, not good ones either. Sleep deprivation has even been related to Cancer and Alzheimers. Think of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. Both claimed to need very little sleep, they both died from Alzheimers.
So, sleep tight. Apparently, swaddling helps, hence weighted blankets! Who knew..? Babies knew……