Sleep is one of those things that when you’re getting enough of it, you don’t even notice it, but when there’s an issue with it (as any new parent will tell you), it can dominate your life.
There seems to be a little bit of conflicting evidence about how much sleep you need…is it 8 hours or 10 hours or is Maggie Thatcher’s 4 hour’s enough for the macho ‘super busy’ amongst us? Well, it depends on you and by the time you reach a certain age, you know how much sleep you need to make you function properly. There is even some thought that women need more sleep owing to the complexity of our brains 😉
For me personally, sleep has magical restorative powers like nothing else and one of the reasons most of us feel so good on and after holidays is the extra sleep and rest we allow ourselves; like the little afternoon naps…
You either love it or hate it and I’m a lover of a little afternoon nap. Indeed, I’ve got a little sunny napping corner in my house where it’s perfect to curl up for a 20 minute afternoon nap, but not quite comfortable enough to go for an all out sleep.
There’s plenty of evidence that an afternoon nap of around 20 minutes is great for your productivity and learning capacity. Winston Churchill apparently had an afternoon nap every day during the war, so if it’s good enough for Winston…!
Unfortunately sometimes sleep becomes an issue and most of us have times where we are struggling with sleep. This can often be due to something stressful or worrying that’s happening in our lives and a changed sleep pattern is often one of the first signs something’s not quite right. You might struggle to get to sleep, or have a consistently disturbed sleep, wake up super early every day or indeed be sleeping far more than usual.
What’s worked for me at times like these is going back to sleep basics and trying to accept that it’s a phase that will most likely pass. And of course, trying to deal with whatever it is that is stressing or worrying you if the most helpful thing, though sometimes that’s easier said than done. So what are the basics of a good night’s sleep?
You can read yesterday’s ‘wellbeing wonder’ post about exercise here.