Do a quick mental math using the table below in 90 secs.
What’s your score?
If you are score less than 7, you can be assured the poor quality of sleep is making you a candidate for most of the conditions/situations listed below.
Take your pick …
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Coronary heart disease
- Road accidents
- Emotional insensitivity
In a world where we are always on, compete with each other over ability to burn the proverbial candle on both ends and carry devices to bed – we are directly assaulting the quality and quantity of our sleep. Scientists are now defining this wide spread lack of sleep as a ‘public health epidemic‘.
Unlike exercise, which is considered proactive and positive, sleep often has connotations of being a waste of time and a sign of weakness. Scientists are discovering the physical and mental benefits of good sleep. They are now establishing a direct linkage between lack of sleep and surge of many of the listed health conditions in today’s society.
Sleep is not just a nice to have to fight off exhaustion, but a critical living process that enables functions including blood pressure regulation and memory formation.
Sleep and dreams are also being understood in the context of learning and creativity. Contrary to what many of us who sadly associated intense education and learning with all-nighters, science now clearly shows how learning and understanding is seriously impaired by lack of adequate sleep.
Harvard Scientist Mather Walker dramatically argues that instead of asking ‘why we sleep‘, we could even ask ‘why do we wake up‘ !! Shakespeare elegantly calls it ‘the main course in life’s feast‘.
Innocent sleep. Sleep that soothes away all our worries. Sleep that puts each day to rest. Sleep that relieves the weary laborer and heals hurt minds. Sleep, the main course in life’s feast, and the most nourishing. – Shakespeare, Macbeth
Ignore the following information at your peril.
For the most motivated and driven to invest 10-12 hours on this topic, here’s a great book to read:
For those who hate reading and prefer videos instead see this TED Video – Sleep is your superpower .
If you want to get the jist in 2 minutes read this article – The best thing you can do for your health: sleep well.
If you want to be the proverbial frog in the boiling water or a science denier, wish you lot’s of luck.