As a wise saying goes “Sleep is an investment in the energy you need to be effective tomorrow”. We all have dreams – dreams that go beyond the skies and stretch far and wide. Our future depends on them. To sacrifice sleep would be equivalent to killing our dreams.
Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi clearly shed light on this topic through their book ‘Super Brain’ where they mention “Most people are aware of the importance of sleep. But as a society, we won’t do what is good for us in this area. We are chronically sleep deprived and even proud of the fact since it indicates life on the go and total dedication to our work. But the mind platter indicates that true dedication would consist of balancing the brain for optimal performance, which means taking seriously, time in, down time and sleep time.” This is more of a practical benefit.
On the other hand, if we were to look at it from the emotional perspective, I think Shakespeare – the Bard of Avon has something to say about this, “Innocent sleep. Sleep that soothes away all our worries. Sleep that puts each day to rest. Sleep that relieves the weary labourer and heals hurt minds…..”
For some, sleep is a luxury that they can’t afford. According to research, the twilight time between fully awake and sound asleep may be packed with creative potential too. It isn’t a lost time but rather a sort of miracle drug that helps in boosting physical and mental health performance. Sleep occupies a third of our lives. It’s a superpower most of us fail to recognize, it plays a major role in memory enhancement. So the next time you have an important task at hand just ‘sleep on it’.
It’s not just an imagination – we get more irritable when we are low on sleep. Sleep scientist Matt Walker says that when a person becomes sleep deprived, their emotional side tends to get cranky as the communication between the prefrontal cortex which is like the CEO of the brain and the amygdala gets severed. During the day, when we face sharp-edged emotional experiences, it’s the sleep that provides a soothing medication to prepare us for the next day. Clearly, we can see that it isn’t time that heals wounds but time during sleep is what does so.
Then comes the question of how much is enough. For an average adult, the current recommendation is somewhere between 7-9 hours of sleep. For a child, it’s even longer. Once a person’s sleep chart starts declining the prescribed hours, the mortality rate is at risk. But that doesn’t mean that if we sleep for more hours, the risk isn’t there. Rather, the question of quality comes into place. Yes, it’s not just about the quantity but also the quality that counts. The less quality sleep we feed ourselves, the higher the risk of death.
Modernity has shaped our routine and pushed us into something bizarre where many of us go all out to complete tasks, etc. But if we want to be around long enough to get the benefits and the fruits of all that hard labour, we might want to think twice about skipping a good night’s sleep.
Are you aware of the fact that ‘beauty sleep’ actually exists? This state of natural makeup is very helpful in retaining our youthful profile. I guess sleeping beauty will turn out to be a fitting mentor! So let’s make sure the next time, both you and I check this off our list every day. As Thomas Dekker cites ‘It is a golden chain that binds our body and health together’. I think it’s better for all of us not to snap it. Mindy Kaling has said it so beautifully: “Sleep for when we wake, we are then able to shake the world.”
People who routinely experienced higher quality sleep tended to perceive themselves as having better emotional intelligence, such as doing well in social interactions, maintaining relationships, feeling positive and controlling impulses. Inconsistent sleep, where a person goes to bed at inconsistent times or wakes up at different times each night, can disturb the body’s process of regulating inflammation during sleep. Sleep helps the body repair, regenerate, and recover. The immune system is no exception to this relationship.
A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cure in a doctor’s book. For some, it isn’t just sleeping, it’s rather an escape for the troubled minds to finally come to peace with themselves. Be like a caterpillar that eats and sleeps for a while and one day wakes up beautiful. Don’t sacrifice your health for the temporary pleasure you get. Once in a while when life throws a punch, take a rest and don’t quit.
Like every coin has two sides, this too has two faces. Flip: you realize how sleep is beneficial, flip again: it is a drug, take too much dosage at a time and it makes you dopey. You lose the time and the opportunities that knock.
I recommend ‘Pick Three’ by Randi Zuckerberg, one of the best books where an entire chapter focuses on sleep. We are aware that ‘imbalance’ is a dirty word. But Randi thinks otherwise. This book is quite an eye-opener for those who juggle things in life to come to a halt and start organizing their priorities.
To sum it up, here are Gandhiji’s words “Each night, go to sleep, you die, wake up the next morning, you are reborn.” So, don’t belittle your sleep, for it’s the door to your dreams.