Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Five Hours of Sleep

I had only five and a half hours of sleep last night.

I fell asleep around 11. I woke up around 4:30. I got out of bed at five.

This type of night has happened to me a few times in the past week or so.

I like getting up early because it adds hours to my day.

But I know it's not healthy.

Today in the news, there was an article about a sleep study done in Australia.

The researchers looked at Aussie sleepers ranging from ages 17-24. They found that those who got five hours of sleep per night were three times more likely to be mentally ill than those who got seven-eight hours a night. It also increases the likelihood that someone will be fat, and have heart disease.

I'm not sure what it means for someone my age. I'm sure it's still unhealthy, but maybe not as unhealthy.

And I'm also sure a bad night here or there isn't going to have huge effects on your health.

It's kind of a difficult thing.

I mean it's hard enough to tell people to eat less crap, and exercise more. But at least that's something that can be done....although it might take a lot of willpower.

How do you get people to sleep more?

I lay in bed WANTING to sleep.

I try to clear my thoughts.

I try to avoid thinking of things that make me angry, stressed, worried, scared, etc. That's hard to do, and I usually feel better just getting out of bed and starting my day.

It's hard to know if....

A) My negative thoughts keep me from sleeping

B) My insomnia gives me time to think negative thoughts.

I kind of think it's the latter because I'm usually happy during the day, AND once I get out of bed and start doing stuff, I'm usually fine.

But I have regrets about getting out of bed, because I know sleeping more would be more healthy for me.

AND I love to dream.

What I should do more often is get out of bed, go do something, wait to get tired, and then return to bed. Falling asleep after being awake for awhile increases your chance of having a lucid dream.

I love dreaming.

I love sleeping.

I think sometimes us sleep-lovers end up feeling like wimps when we get a good night's rest.

My dad, a very successful business man, would often boast about getting only five hours of sleep. It seemed anyone who got more than that amount of sleep was lazy. I mean MAYBE he didn't mean it to sound that way. But he definitely didn't sound regretful about his lack of sleep.

We once had a driver take us to the airport in NYC. We knew him because we, and my parents, had used him on previous occasions. We exchanged basic pleasantries and asked him how he was doing. He told us he had only a few hours sleep in the last few days.

We were foolish and got in the car with him anyway.

I guess we're lucky to be alive.

I'm not sure there's much difference between a VERY tired driver, and an intoxicated one.

Still....people seem proud of not sleeping enough.

Maybe the medical research and information will change public attitudes towards the subject.

Maybe one day bragging.....I need only five hours of sleep will be the same as saying stuff like....

I find a new sex partner every night!

I eat a whole box of donuts for dessert every day.

I smoke a pack a day!

I drink and drive!

I NEVER exercise.

It's funny. My family has been sending preachy emails back and forth about eating better and exercising more. They don't want fat family members, and they don't want anyone dying of a heart attack. No one is mentioning sleep much....

Oh, never mind.

My sister mentioned not getting a lot of sleep (new baby in the family) and my mom encouraged her to use free time as sleep time. So, that's good!

Anyway, I hope to have a GOOD amount of sleep tonight.

And I wish good sleeping on all of you reading this.