Think about this fact: If you live to be 90, 32 years will be spent asleep. That's one of the facts mentioned in this TED Talk from Russell Foster, a circadian neuroscientist who studies the sleep cycles of the brain. He also talks about how this third of our lives has been considered in history, and how our view of it changed, from something that is soft and delicious to a superfluous waste of time (he mentions many interesting quotes about these two poles). And it seems like the invention of the light bulb might have been the beginning of this shift, this idea that we had conquered darkness and therefore we may not need sleep. But, of course, this is not the case. More and more research is showing that, in order to feel well, to be healthy, even to have less mental problems, we need adequate sleep. Three years ago, one of the things my nutritionist advised me to do, together, of course, with eating healthier, was to make sure I would sleep enough hours, and in order to do that, I was told to use a dark eye pad, make sure there was absolutely no light in the room, move all electronic devices away from your head, and other tidbits like that. I was surprised at the recommendations, but there is powerful research that shows that there is a clear correlation between lack of sleep and breast cancer.
Just in the past months, I have been made even more aware of how the importance of sleep is finally being recognized. Here are some links:
- Sounds True Dr. Ruben Naiman : Falling in love with sleep. This is an hour long podcast, but well worth it if you have the time, because Dr. Naiman clearly explains how we need to start looking at sleep as something beneficial. We have been brainwashed into thinking that "sleep is for wimps" (according to the the TED Talk, Margaret Thatcher said that), but it is in our detriment to keep that attitude. He gives good, specific advice about how to achieve a good relationship with sleep.
- In this article (How to Improve (and Increase) your Sleep), the author of the book, Eat, Move, Sleep, explains how we need to prioritize sleep. I heard him (Tom Rath) being interviewed by Dan Pink in his Office Hours show, and it is another interesting podcast to hear.
- From a coupe of weeks ago, this New York Times's article, explains the recent discovery that we need sleep in order to clean the junk out. So, that's why we need it.
- And here's the TED Talk from Dr. Rusell: Why do we sleep.
Being from Spain, I still love to take naps. Of course, I cannot take them as often as I like, but I'm glad at least that this is finally not seen as a lazy's person hobby (and if it is, too bad).
Lots of love as always.
photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc