UNITED STATES—We have had this conversation before and we are having it again because I think sleep is one of the most important things in life, especially when it comes to your health. Getting a good night of sleep or day of sleep (for those who work midnights) is crucial to your body functioning properly. I do not get 8 hours of sleep, so I am just going to put it out there. I wish for the heavens I could tell you it happens for me on a consistent basis, but it does not.
If I’m lucky I might get 5 ½ to 6 ½ hours of sleep each night. I can operate on 6 hours, anything lower than that is quite difficult for me because it takes the body and the mind a bit more time to catch up with the rest of the world. I’m not a big tech guy at night, when I go to my bedroom, the intention is to sleep. NO TV is on, can’t sleep with sound because I tend to be a very light sleeper. You’d be surprised at how the smallest sound can wake me up from sleep.
I do have a ceiling fan on because it HELPS me sleep. Rather it is in the summer or winter, it is indeed on people. I have constantly had discussions with people noting how I would be willing to give up all sorts of things to just have a decent night’s sleep for 6 months. I am seeing naps manifest into some of the best rest I get and when I say a nap I mean just that, around 30 to 40 minutes, maybe an hour tops, feels like 8 plus hours of sleep.
What it is about a nap that helps you obtain sleep that cannot be explained with words I can never explain to you. However, I’ve realized the summer months can be difficult for sleep because of the heat and if you live in a part of the country where the humidity is very high, it is even worse. Heat can make sleep hard because if you’re sweating and not comfortable your sleep is more likely to be disturbed.
At the same time, if it’s hot, the goal is to cool off, but in cooling off, you might run into the situation where you become cold. So what transpires? You’re grabbing for the comforter or a blanket to warm you up; in other words sleeping in the summer requires a very delicate balance people. So you might be asking what is keeping me up at night? I wish I could tell you exactly, but I don’t know. It is indeed an enigma.
Perhaps at the top of the list is my brain is always wired. I wish I had an off switch that I can just turn it off. Sometimes the worry about the silliest or stupidest things I cannot get them out of my head and it leaves me tossing and turning all night. If that is not frustrating enough, I sometimes get dings, rings and flashes on my phone in the wee hours of the night that just instantly catch my eye or ear and then I’m up.
The thing about my sleep being disturbed is when I’m up, I’m up, there is no just close your eyes and go back to sleep. My body doesn’t function that way, so I’m in the situation where I’m up for 2 to 3 maybe 4 hours before I can go back to sleep and by the time I do fall to sleep, I find myself having to get up for work, so I never slept at all. I have considered getting those blackout curtains because as soon as that sunlight pierces thru my blinds it’s a done deal, it finds a way into my eye and I’m up people, even if I don’t want to.
As I’m writing this column, I didn’t fall to sleep till 11 p.m., but I was up at around 5:45 a.m. I did not want to get up, but the body says you have no choice, get up! Sleep is part of life. We all need it, we are all lacking it and we have to do more to get quality sleep and not mess around with the impact it has on our health. If you’re waking up on a consistent basis and you feel deprived of sleep that is something that you might need to take a closer look at.