I’ve been seeing a lot of posts about sleep from my friends on Facebook lately. Seems like many of them aren’t getting enough sleep. I’m not sure why this is, but if I can take some hints from my three year old daughter, I’m guessing they want to play instead of go to bed. Of course she’d rather play than eat dinner also, but most of us have overcome that. So why can’t we overcome the sleep issue also?
I love to sleep, but I’m occasionally guilty of not getting to bed on time. Typically, when I get to bed late, it’s because of a video game or a Netflix movie. This usually means I get to bed about an hour late. I can deal with this, although I do feel tired when I wake up in the morning. My bedtime is 10:30pm. Waking up at 6:30am gives me a solid 8 hours of sleep. I find that is my ideal amount of sleep. Some do fine with less, like Ralph Jean-Paul. During his 3AM Experiment, he found that he did well on 6.5 hours of sleep. I’ve heard that as we get older we need less sleep, and I’m still waiting for that day to come. I would really love to have an extra couple of waking hours each day. Until that day comes, I am pretty careful about making sure that I usually get 8 hours of sleep each night. In fact, often get a little anxious once the clock roles past 10:30; especially if I’m doing nothing important or fun.
One thing that perplexes me, even about myself, is why we stay up late watching TV, especially TV programs that aren’t particularly interesting. I do this sometimes, most often on the weekend. I suppose I’m fighting the need for sleep hoping that I can squeeze a little more enjoyment out of the day. When I think about it though, that extra enjoyment usually gets sucked out of the following day when I sleep in, or when I wake up at normal time and feel tired all day.
As a side note, when determining the value I place on a particular TV program, I usually compare it to renting a DVD movie or program. Would I actually pay to watch this programming? If the answer is no, then it’s not worth my time to watch.
So how do I fight this urge to stay up late? For me, I find recognizing how I am spending my time helps. If I’m doing something that I really enjoy then it may be worth while. But if I’m just vegging out in front of the TV, my time is better spent in bed sleeping. It really comes down to deciding how my time is best spent.
I’ve also found it helps to practice falling asleep. I’ve already discussed my method here. Being able to fall asleep quickly makes bedtime more appealing.
Let’s get some bullet points here to summarize.
- Determine your ideal amount of sleep and schedule accordingly.
- Turn off the TV or at least determine the value of the programming.
- Recognize how you spend your time and determine the best use of that time.
- Find a method to fall asleep fast and practice it.
Before I sign off, I want to hit on a couple of reasons sleep is important to me.
- I find that I feel better when I get enough sleep.
- I wake up easier, and that sets a good tone for the rest of the day.
- I am more prone to stay healthy. I get sick easier when I don’t get enough sleep.
Are you getting enough sleep? What are your thoughts on sleep?