Are You Torturing Yourself With Too Little Sleep?

Sleep deprivation

Sleep deprivation

Are you sleeping less than eight hours a night? Do you find yourself feeling groggy in the morning, and finding it a little more of a struggle than usual to be at your perfect best through your day? If you answered yes to these two questions chances are you are depriving yourself of sleep, which is sheer torture.

Many people deprive themselves of food; look at all of the religions that require you to fast for several days at a time. Fasting is one thing, sure, by the end of a few days, you are going to be tired, a bit weak, and usually a bit slimmer, but no lasting harm is done. Depriving yourself of sleep is simply a form of torture. Just after two days of no sleep, your body will not be able to function, so just imagine what is happening when you deprive yourself of a full night’s sleep every night.

How many hours sleep do you really need?

Relaxed

Relaxed

Studies done show that 95% of people need anywhere from seven to eight hours of sleep a night, while 2.5% need more than eight hours. That means only 2.5% of people need less than seven hours of sleep. Therefore, the question is why so many people deprive themselves of sleep, especially when it affects how they function the next day. [It’s great research but totally undermined by a straw poll of the members of the Corr  family .. 3 of the family are angels first thing of the morning with hardly any sleep and two of us are completely wrecked if we don’t get at least 8 hours… I’m not revealing who’s who 😉 ]
Unfortunately, many people are under the impression that by getting one less hour of sleep each night they will have one more hour of productivity the next day. This is a MYTH! Sleeping less does not make you more productive, it makes you less productive due to how hard it is to focus. Memory, performance, and attitude are also affected by the amount of sleep you get. Having a hard time remebering what you are doing, want to get back to peak performance, what you need is to get more sleep.

Top tips for a great night’s sleep

Here are three great tips you can easily follow to ensure you are getting the sleep you need:

  • Set an earlier bedtime– This one sounds pretty obvious, but it is amazing how many people do not do it. Nobody wants to get up any earlier then they have to, hence why so many of us rely on the snooze button in the morning. Therefore, setting an earlier bedtime and then going to bed at that time ensures we are getting the hours we need. Bedtime routines are important, if you do not start one now you will find even more reasons to stay up late! [I need to remember this!!!! I couldn’t resist last night getting up to speed with some new video editing software I’m planning to use to record one of the girls’ forthcoming concerts with a combination of our video camera and a 4 track quadrophonic sound recording gizmo I’ve just bought]
  • Wind Down – The worst thing to try to do is jump into bed when you are wound up, your mind will not slow down long enough for you to fall asleep. About 45 minutes before crawling into bed you need to start winding down, drink something warm, read a boring book, listen to music, and do anything that will help your mind start to relax. Avoid anything stimulating, no matter how tempting it is! [Big mistake last night listening to the late night political debate on the radio my heart beat and blood pressure was getting higher and higher]
  • Jot Down A Few Notes –If you have too much stuff on your mind you will never be able to wind down, no matter how much you try. Rather than fighting your mind, take a few minutes to jot down what is on your mind. This takes it away from your mind, making it easier to fall asleep and lessens your chance of mulling over the problems when you wake up in the middle of the night. [Strangely enough I get my most creative thoughts just as I’m dropping off, thank heaven for post-it notes and my Macbook Air!]

If all else fails, what to do?

Counting Sheep

Counting Sheep

 

If all else fails you can always count sheep. Though as they say these days “there’s an app for that!”

See http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sheep-counting/id381471354?mt=8

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