I saw a piece on the news about sleep. About undersleeping in fact. At first I thought it was an April Fool, like the spaghetti tree or that little Lirpa Loof fella on That’s Life but it wasn’t. Undersleeping isn’t a joke. It’s much more dangerous than that. You know oversleeping? It’s like that. But more opposite.
Being serious for just one cotton picking minute, insomnia is hell for those who suffer on a regular basis and it’s proven that lack of sleep can adversely effect one’s mood and quality of life. A recent poll of 2,000 adults revealed they get an average of 6.8 hours sleep a night, rather than the 7.7 hours they feel they need. This means, over a week, some are missing out on 6.3 hours sleep. That’s almost a whole night’s sleep!
The negative effects of not getting enough sleep are wide-ranging and detailed in a report by the Royal Society of Public Health called Waking Up To The Benefits of Sleep. From reduced decision-making abilities and poor memory, to depression, heart disease, stroke and cancer, lack of sleep can literally kill you. The report says those most at risk include new parents and shift workers, and it also identifies way of improving one’s sleep.
NHS Choices also lists the benefits of sleep, stating there’s evidence that sleep boosts your immune system, making you less likely to come down with coughs, colds and bugs. Sleep can also help you lose weight, boost mental wellbeing, help prevent diabetes, can increase your sex drive (Saucy!) help ward off heart disease and increase fertility. It’s ironic that the result in this increase in fertililty, as any new parent knows, means you get less sleep and feel like the world you inhabit is made of plasticine, swans are trying to attack you as you ride on the back of an elephant to work, which is actually a bus, and you feel like you’re drunk but nothing is funny and you want to cry on the shoulder of the old lady next to you, but that’s by the by. Sleep is good. No sleep is bad. Fact. I know Margaret Thatcher once stated that she lived on 4 hours of sleep a night but she was a psychopath and terrible PR for existing on little sleep. Other famous insomniacs include Vincent van Gogh (cut off some ear and gave it to a prostitute), Bill Clinton (A US president that spaffed all over a dress), Marilyn Monroe (deaded; spaffed over by a different US president), Abraham Lincoln (deaded in a theatre; probably didn’t spaff over anyone) and Madonna (almost deaded in a theatre when her cape didn’t detach; extent of spaffage unknown) and it’s safe to say I’m not terribly keen on inviting this bunch of well-known insomniacs to a dinner party. For a start it’d be quite smelly.
I’ve had periods of insomnia and they were horrid. I’ve not suffered as much as others but I know it can really do a number on you. To anyone out there who has trouble sleeping, you really do have my sympathy. But I am here, not to pity you, but to do you a solid, as we from Saaf Landan say, and to give you a piece of news which insomniacs and undersleepers will love. If they’ve stayed awake reading this drivel.
Remember how we often think we don’t have time for stuff? Don’t have enough time for hobbies, writing, crafting, reading, crafting, cleaning behind the fridge or crafting?
Well, if you’re not sleeping your optimum 7.7 hours a night, and are merely sleeping 6.8 then…
…YOU’VE JUST GAINED 6.3 HOURS A WEEK TO DO ALL THE THINGS YOU DON’T HAVE TIME FOR!
“I’ve always wanted to run a marathon”.
You can do that now! In the first week! With your new fresh shiny extra 6.3 hours, YOU can run a marathon! GO RUN A MARATHON!
“I don’t get time to respond to comments on my blog!”
Now you do! Get to it. 6.3 hours of commenting on other blogs, and giving some blog loving. Longtime.
“I want to do more crafting!”
Wait a minute. That’s unrealistic. No-one wants to do MORE crafting.
Crafting aside, THINK OF ALL THE GOOD THINGS YOU CAN DO!
GO ON. DO IT. THINK OF THEM! THINK OF THEM ALL!
Don’t get enough time for gardening? Garden at night! Did you know the Evening Primrose is so called because it blooms between 8.45 and 9pm? So, make yourself a moon garden and enjoy the heady scent of night-blooming jasmines while you water your plants at night, using less water than you would during the day, therefore saving the planet!
“Oh I can’t sleep!” Is your house a tip? Yes? Then give it a clean you slattern! You’ve got an extra 6.3 hours! Get the Brasso out and give everything a once over. Clean out your cupboard of doom. Tidy behind the fridge. Do the washing. The ironing. Clean out the paddock. Brush the horses. Walk the dogs. Walk the cats!
Instead of sitting there thinking I can’t sleep, consider this: you’ve been given a time machine, and you’ve been given an additional 6.3 hours to do stuff! So don’t feel blue. Think what you can do!
Except… you’re so tired you can’t find the dog, the cat has run off, the iron has just burnt all the school uniforms, and while cleaning behind it, the fridge has just fallen on you and you’re trapped on the floor till morning.
Ho hum, may as well get some sleep eh?
Sleep? For the weak or do you need 10 hours a day or more or you’ll be murdering people. My gran once said I could sleep on a washing line. Are you like that, or do you wake at the drop of a hat? Let us know! And thanks for reading.