Early to bed
Early to rise
Makes a man healthy
Wealthy and wise
This poem loses its meaning and importance once we cross the kindergarten level. I wish this poem is taken as more than just a nursery rhyme and practically followed through the life time of a human being.
Are we humans really doing this? There is empirical evidence to say no.
Our schedules are jumbled up and gone haywire. Unlike animals and birds, we humans are habituating to sleep while the sun is awake providing us the light and work while the moon is on duty to make sure that we are sleeping like babies.
Insomnia and sleep deprivation are two different effects with different reasons that cause them. Insomnia is a sleeping disorder or health condition arising out of depression, stress, and other medical conditions. And my point of discussion today is not insomnia because of its complexity and handling it sometimes requires medical expertise. To state the difference in plain words “Insomnia” is not getting sleep even though you have time. And “less sleep” means you have no time to sleep even though you can.
My subject for today is sleeping less which is discernable. As the technology and working hours are on the rise, people are giving less importance to the fundamentals of healthy living like sleep, exercise, good food, and rest.
Professor Francesco Cappuccio, University of Warwick’s Medical School, says: “Fewer hours sleep and greater levels of sleep disturbance have become widespread in industrialized societies. This change, largely the result of sleep curtailment to create more time for leisure and shift-work, has meant that reports of fatigue, tiredness and excessive daytime sleepiness are more common than a few decades ago. Sleep represents the daily process of physiological restitution and recovery, and lack of sleep has far-reaching effects.”
For the normal functioning of a human body, we need an average of six to eight hours of sound sleep each night. Sleeping for less than six continuous hours per night can potentially cause high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, weight gain, heart disease and premature death.
A team from UK and Italy conducted a research and collected information from sixteen studies across Asia, the US and Europe. The result of this research indicated that people who sleep less than six to eight hours per night are 12% more likely to die prematurely than those who slept for 6-8 hours consistently.
Professor Cappuccio adds, “In terms of prevention, our findings indicate that consistently sleeping around 7 hours per night is optimal for health and a sustained reduction may predispose to ill-health.”
The reasons for sleeping less are various: long working hours for making more money, impressing the boss for a promotion, job retention efforts, maintaining a social life, wrong sleeping habits, stress. But after all, is gaining all these or one of these benefits worth cutting short of our life span and dying prematurely? Don’t we all think we should enjoy the benefits and comforts we have earned for a long term of life? If that purpose isn’t served then all our precious earnings are meaningless. At what cost do we have to slog and impress others?
It’s a proven fact that a homeless person or a daily laborer sleeps more peacefully for longer hours than a millionaire.
Sleep is a big boon that God gave us without any cost and whether we enjoy it or replace it with material benefits is upto us to decide. Human desires are unending and working eighteen hours a day and making any amount of money is also sometimes less.
Drawing a priority list and proscribing meaningless desires from our routine will spare from us sufferings. Life is too short for entertaining unwanted guests (health issues) who cause us misery and premature death.
Taking control over one’s life and doing the right thing at the right time for the right duration is what is required for leading a successful life.
Well, excessive sleep is also not good and has its own perils. A study says, “That both too little sleep and too much sleep can cause potentially serious problems in the long term.” Anything done in moderation will have better results.
This is a funny but good talk by Araianna Huffington.