Is your life is getting in the way of sleep, what impact is that having on your life?
Feel like a little nap right now?
The [Abraham] Maslow Law of Human Needs, says that as humans we have 5 basic needs. They are set like a we hierarchy (in the shape of a pyramid). At the bottom the most fundamental needs of shelter, food and sleep. Then our needs move up to things like security, love, belonging, esteem and self actualisation.
What this pyramid, and years of study on the subject, demonstrates is that at a very basic level we all need sleep before we can be effective in other parts of our life.
In the pre-industrial error sleep was valued and cherished, to quote Shakespeare “Sleep, sleep, nature’s soft nurse, why has thou forsaken me” and “the honey heavy dew of slumber”.
However our 20th century culture, in particular from the 1980’s, we have almost turned up our nose at the need to sleep; it is a need of the weak. Pulling an ‘allnighter’ or crying “I only got 2 hours sleep last night’ is to be admired and applauded.
Sadly, despite the research and overwhelming physiological need to sleep, don’t treat it as a need. We think that sleep is a waste of time, or in the words of Jon Bon Jovi I”I’ll sleep when I’m dead”.
Are we so time poor that sleep is our only compromise because we think it has the least value?
What we forget is that the quality (and quantity) of our sleep determines the quality of our life when we’re awake. During sleep we go into restoration mode, in fact, some of our gene’s only turn on when we are asleep!
Yet we still choose to ignore it! Which makes us less alert, more irritable and prone to illness, and also releasing a hunger hormone called ghrelin and that increases our appetite for carbohydrates in particular sugars!
Ariana Huffington of Huffington Post has recently written a book on the subject “The Sleep Revolution”. She believes that Sleep has a profound impact on our lives, specifically our work performance, relationships and overall happiness. Ariana also supports this scientific research and the consequences of sleep deprivation.
Is it time to ask ourselves, “what we are doing instead of sleeping is as important as restoring our body to take on another day?”
We need to recognise the importance of sleep and how it can improve our lives on so many levels.