In honour of the fact I've been a bit tired after a jerky night of half-sleep on a red-eye flight last week, a reminder this week on the importance of getting enough zzzzzs. (I actually had three economy seats to myself = result. Unfortunately I couldn't fully raise the arm rests = hmm, not a result. An uncomfy night's sleep ensued.)
Sleep is such an integral part of your health, when you get less than you need it's thought you can compromise your health. Indeed some experts say the situation is now so serious that they compare our lack of sleep - and the lack of awareness on how important sleep is - to ignorance on the dangers of smoking 50 years ago. This is what the head of the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School says - worth taking seriously.
And if that isn't enough to get you thinking, researchers have found people who sleep less than seven hours a night are about three times more likely to develop cold symptoms. At this time of year (Northern Hemisphere readers) that is as much an incentive as any to go to bed an hour earlier tonight.
- Read the facts and the theories in this brilliant Boston Globe article on the importance of sleep.
- And my most clicked on article on sleep is here: The honey-heavy dew of slumber: How 12 little minutes could transform your day and get your brain fizzing with creativity and enthusiasm.
But what if you don't have the time to squeeze more sleep into your day? Perhaps you have children, or a hectic schedule, or it's just hard to know how to find the time to sleep more.
Next week we look at an incredible experiment that's had a big impact in several of San Francisco's rowdiest middle and high schools. Something's been happening in these schools for just a few minutes a day, and the results are so stunning, benefiting and calming the pupils so significantly, that other establishments are now introducing the same techniques. The best thing of all is you too can use this theory right away, and I'll tell you more next monday.
For now, have a great week, and perhaps treat yourself to a little extra sleep if you can.