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Thursday Thought Day – Sleep for the Weak?

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I decided to post today’s “Thursday Thought Day” about SLEEP considering it’s typically always #1 on my mind.  I HATE when my friends tell me “Sleep is for the weak!” and “You can sleep when you’re older.”  Fail.  If I don’t sleep I’ll be a giant crank-pot.  And no one wants a feisty stubborn CRANKY little redhead.

All day I am constantly tired.  I think about sleeping.  I’m consistently yawning.  And when my head finally hits the pillow as early as 8:30pm (and never later than 10:30pm) I’m wide awake! (see image below)

My mind is racing – Who did I forget to email today?  Did I miss any deadlines?  Do I have any deadlines tomorrow?  What meetings do I have?  What do I need to prepare?  Etc. etc.

Because of this – I started researching about sleep in general.  With the help of a few resources, this is what I was able to uncover:

Cardinal Sleep Rules

Typically I wake up feeling exhausted.  Did I even sleep?  I feel like I just went to be a few minutes ago!  I found out I was breaking cardinal “sleep” rules.

  1. Don’t exercise 2 hours before bed time (oops)
  2. Don’t eat a large meal 2 hours before bed (guilty)
  3. Unwind before bed – do something calm for half an hour prior to going to sleep (oops again)
  4. No bright lights – stay away from computer and TV screens (doesn’t anyone know I live with my computer?)

The facts!

  • Falling asleep in less than 5 minutes may mean you’re sleep deprived.  10-15 minutes is a more natural timeframe
  • Snoring only occurs in non-REM sleep
  • The extra hour of sleep due to daylight saving time in Canada has directly correlated with a decrease in the number of car accidents
  • Most healthy adults need between 7.5-9 hours of sleep per night.
  • Non-REM sleep consists of 4 stages, each deeper than the last
  • REM is when you do the most active dreaming
  • Deep sleep (staged 3 and 4) of non-REM sleep is most important
  • To wake up feeling refreshed, set a wake up time that’s a multiple of 90 minutes (for example, if you go to sleep at 10pm, set your alarm for 5:30) to avoid waking up in the middle of a sleep cycle (which is typically 90 minutes – get it?).
  • REM sleep renews the mind and plays a key role in learning and memory

Sleep Disorders

Insomnia – Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder and occurs when someone has trouble either falling asleep or wakes up too early and cannot fall back asleep.  This can be treated with sleeping pills, however it is recommended to practice healthy sleeping habits (see above).

Sleep Apnea – Sleep Apnea occurs when people stop breathing during sleep.

Narcolepsy – Narcolepsy causes intense sleepiness during the daytime.  People with narcolepsy can fall asleep during a conversation, at work, or even while driving.  (Scary!)

Sleep Walking/Night Terrors – More common in young children, sleep walking is characterized by physically getting out of bed while sleeping.  Night Terrors can cause shaking and fear while remaining in a sleep stage.


How Well are you Sleeping?

Sleep Disorders

40 Facts About Sleep You Probably Didn’t Know

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

Photo Credit

6 responses »

  1. Sleep is my long lost friend. I’m always up way to late at night with my laptop.

    • My weekends I love staying up late with my laptop on my lap researching everything I missed out on throughout the week – I’m right there with you! Thank you for commenting on my blog post!

  2. I’m glad I am not the only one longing for sleep! The running joke is sleep is the #1 requested item on any list for gift giving! That is all I’d like for my birthday, Christmas…any given tuesday! Thanks for the facts and tips.

  3. I thought the need to sleep with your technological devices, laptops or smartphones was almost a requirement for the modern college student? Checking emails, assignment due dates, writing paper after paper, checking that assignment due date again, it’s what we seem to these adys.. 🙂
    Good article and thanks for the advice.

    • It cracks me up that you say that, because back when I had the blackberry I would purposely wake up throughout the night to see if the little red light was blinking (indicating I had a new message of some sort). Technology greatly affects the quality of sleep we may or may not be getting!


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