New scientific research reveals the worst and best sleeping habits. And it turns out that 6 hours sleep is not enough? How many hours sleep do you need? 8. Sorry. That’s just a fact.
Not getting enough sleep is detrimental to your health, your work, your happiness… everything. If you want to enjoy a healthy, balanced mind and body, you’ve got to get enough sleep—8 hours, to be precise.
The role of sleep is to restore your body to its natural, healthy function.
When you sleep your body repairs cells, revives your adrenal glands, and harmonises you ready for the next day. That’s why, if you get a good night’s sleep you should wake up feeling wonderful and happy the next morning, ready to get the day off to a positive start. So, my Zen-sational, poositivity warrior readers; are your days starting positive?
If you don’t feel good in the morning, you might want to check your sleeping habits.
Because if you choose to go without sleep, your body cannot keep itself at optimum health.
Both over-sleeping and under-sleeping prevent you from achieving optimal bodily functioning. The best sleeping habit is to get just the right amount every night. Eight hours.
Now I know that most of the readers on this site have a great relationship with their body. And you all respect and appreciate your body a lot. And if you do not, then you know that you should practice Loving Kindness Meditation, which will help you to love your body more.
So. You probably appreciate your body already.
But you might not be completely aware of the sheer amount of work it takes to keep your body functioning healthily.
While you’re running around doing the housework, making that pay check, and looking after the kids, your body is constantly working to maintain your health.
Because it’s working so hard, your body needs rest. There’s no other way about it.
Your body needs time to unwind, just like your mind does. And the best sleeping habit is to make sure you give your body the time it needs to restore itself.
Science has proven that your body needs 8 hours of sleep for you to function properly.
8 really is the magic number.
I’ve got so many friends who say, “I can get by on just a few hours.”
Sorry. But no, you can’t.
Frequently getting less than 8 hours sleep is bad for both your body and mind.
Under-sleeping will make you ill and will make you function less effectively. That’s simply irrefutable scientific fact.
The journal Sleep (which, you’d think, would know what’s it’s talking about) showed that people who get 6 hours of sleep every night function as badly as people who don’t sleep for two days. You can read about that research here.
Crazy thing is. People who get 6 hours sleep think they function fine. Even though science has proven that they are running themselves into the ground.
Truth is, those who demand themselves to get less than 6 hours sleep per night are in denial.
They believe that they need those extra 2 hours in order to get everything done.
That, again, is wrong.
A machine working at 100% efficiency for 12 hours will achieve more than a machine working at 70% efficiency for 14 hours.
Your maths is just wrong.
If you let yourself actually get the hours of sleep that you need, you will get more done the next day even though you have less time.
So what do you do to correct your sleeping habits and maximize both your sleeping hours and waking hours?
The first thing you’re going to want to do is this: realize that 6 hours (or less) is not enough. Understand that your body really, truly does need 8 hours of sleep. And that if your body doesn’t get 8 hours of sleep you’re gradually running yourself into the ground.
Understand that your body really, truly does need 8 hours of sleep. And that if your body doesn’t get 8 hours of sleep you’re gradually running yourself into the ground.
Respect your body and know that it needs those hours of rest.
But you also need to not oversleep.
Interestingly, Fast Company published an article stating “Research from University of Chicago, shows that people are as likely to overestimate how much they sleep as underestimate it.”
This research is backed by an Epidemiology article, which gets really precise about your sleeping habits. They state that the average person will overestimate their nightly sleep time by 0.8 hours. So however much sleep you think you’re getting, subtract 48 minutes from it. That’s the real amount of sleep you’re getting each night.
In order to make your sleeping habits more effective, you can also publish mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the practice of focusing your mind on the present moment (instead of on thoughts). One of the most popular ways of practicing mindfulness is to focus on your breathing.
Mindfulness enhances sleep because it leads you to a deeper state of mental relaxation.
Try practicing mindfulness for half an hour before bed. This will relax both your body and mind, helping you to get a more effective night’s sleep.
And always remember, your body works hard to maintain your health. Give it the rest it needs. Otherwise you may find yourself ill or simply exhausted before long.
Oh, and there’s one more thing.
When you life down, you shouldn’t just lie down with your body. You should lie down with your mind too.