We spend one-third of our lives asleep, the amount and quality of our sleep is essential to our well-being. Personally, I’ve been a natural insomniac since I was a little girl and I love it.
I remember one night, my mom gave me Benedryl to help (make) me go to sleep. So I took the pill, she put me to bed then waited 15 minutes. My mom peeked her head in my door and asked if I felt tired.
Maybe it was for shock effect but I leaped up on the bed and bounced around exclaiming “NO! I FEEL LIKE DANCING!”
I’ve always been a night owl and it’s been hard to force myself to
to repeat the cycle the next day… shoot me now!
I love nothing more than to be awake in the still, silence of the night. It’s like the world shuts down and becomes mine. My mind overflows with creativity at this time and that’s the best feeling in the world.
Some days I will snooze for 10 – 14 hrs depending on how much I need to recover. Sometimes I will take naps on and off for days and not in one lump sum per night. As it turns out this is a type of sleep schedule (Polyphasic) that actually works for some people… usually entrepreneurs.
I use a sleep tracking app religiously, every time I go to sleep. If you want to give it a shot it’s called “Sleep Better” and it’s free. It shows me how much I’ve been sleeping and the quality of my sleep. It’s pretty cool, especially for such an erratic sleeper as myself.
A third of our lives are spent sleeping, I think we should be reading up on the topic.
The following facts are considered normal, harmless sleeping behavior:
1. It’s normal to wake up 5-15 times per night.
Although, you typically won’t remember these times because in order for you to notice, you have to be awake for at least 3 minutes.
Have you ever had to wake up your partner to tell them or ask them something, they respond and pass back out. When they wake up they have no memory of ever even talking to you.
2. You must be asleep for at least 10-20 minutes in order to realize that you even fell asleep.
That’s one of the reasons why power-naps can feel like they didn’t even happen. I can’t fall asleep for 30-90 minutes but maybe I am asleep for some of that time?
3. Sleep heals!
In 2015, I got out of the ICU after having a massive asthma attack and a week-long stay in the ICU, I had track marks all over my arms from the IV’s. It was quite startling and unpleasant to look at. When I finally got home to my bed where I could get some sleep, I woke up and my husband pointed out that my arms were, for the most part, completely healed! Thank you Jesus! LoL jk …about the Jesus part… anyways. Sleep is required for both your physical and mental recovery.
4. If you wake up during a deep sleep cycle you will feel groggy and tired, despite having slept enough hours.
There are cell phone apps that will set your alarm to your optimal wake time.
5. If you haven’t been sleeping well, don’t worry, your body can compensate for sleep deprivation.
When you do finally go to sleep you will fall into deep sleep sooner and stay there longer.
6. Sleeping 8 hours per night has not always been how humans catch their Z’s.
Monophasic sleep is what today’s society would consider a “normal” sleeping pattern. During the industrial revolution and after the invention of electricity (lights, radios) people switched to sleeping only once per day. This was due to having more hours of working time and recreational time. Electricity allows us to easily stay up late into the night, especially now with TV, computers and cell phones to entertain us.
Polyphasic sleep involves taking many naps throughout the day. Leonardo da Vinci’s followed an extreme form of a polyphasic sleep schedule called the Uberman sleep cycle which included 20-minute naps every four hours.
Those who practice biphasic (two-phases) sleep for a 5-6 hours during the night, and have a short nap or siesta during the day. A siesta is a short nap taken in the early afternoon, usually after lunch. Siesta is a common tradition in some countries, particularly those where the weather is warm.
Siestas are common in:
- The Philippines.
- Costa Rica.
The shorter nap or “power nap” typically lasts 15-30 minutes and will give you an energy boost to finish your day. Siestas are around 90 minutes, which equates to one complete cycle of sleep.
I feel that naturally we should sleep when we feel tired and wake up when we feel rested but not everyone’s schedule will allow for naps. If you feel great after 4-6 hours of sleep then don’t worry about it. Listen to your body and mind and sleep when it’s