Healthful SlumberThe Importance of Sleep
When life gets busy, sleep is often the first activity that we sacrifice. Considered a luxury by many busy people, sleep is actually as vital to sustaining a balanced life as are breathing, eating, and drinking. Getting sufficient sleep can be a potent energizer, just as not getting enough sleep can leave you feeling drained and sluggish. While eight hours is the average amount of sleep most adults should generally aim for, the right amount of sleep varies for each person. Some people may thrive on just four hours, while others don’t feel well rested unless they’ve slept for ten hours. How much we sleep also varies, depending upon where we are in life. Young people often need more sleep, while older people may need less. But the benefits of sleep always stay the same. Regular and consistent periods of wakefulness and sleep are key ingredients to fostering a healthy body and a clear mind. It is during sleep that your body renews itself.
Often, the ability to forgo sleep is considered by some to be an asset. But while it may seem that the nighttime hours can be better used for more productive activities, sleep in itself is extremely productive. During sleep, your body and psyche are both regaining their strength for the coming day. You may have the unique opportunity to explore the hidden recesses of your personality while you are dreaming. Meanwhile, your long-term memories are reinforced. Many cultures engage in an afternoon siesta. Taking a nap is refreshing and can increase both productivity and creativity.
Many famous writers and artists have looked toward their dreams as a source of inspiration. Lewis Carroll is said to have conceived his idea for Alice in Wonderland while dreaming. The expression “sleeping on it” is more than just a saying. Answers to problems can come in your sleep and present themselves to your wide-awake self in the morning. The ancient Greeks valued sleep so significantly, they believed it was a gift from the gods. When you sleep well, you will awaken feeling alert, refreshed, and ready for life’s challenges. Getting enough sleep will ensure that you are centered, thoughtful, and aware throughout the day so you can live your full potential.