Last year my parents wanted me to attend a sleep management workshop with them. To me the whole idea of them splurging on a ridiculously expensive workshop and expecting me to commit myself to it for my three days off from school, having to wake up early in the morning to learn about something as simple as sleep sounded, well, hard to understand. Did i mention attending the workshop meant waking up early? But my parents want what they want. So a week later, I found myself at a Timelenders sleep management workshop, awaiting the promised sleep revolution to enter my life. And three days later, enter it did.
Truth be told, it hasn’t been an overnight change and I’m still struggling with incorporating it in my life fully but the workshop brought some groundbreaking ideas to my notice. We sleep one third of our lives away. And sleep management concerns more than just that- the quality of the other two thirds is directly dependent on how well that one third is managed. So sleep management is integral and there’s no escaping it (Unless you’re happy-go-lucky like me when it comes to managing things but hey, even I gave it a shot). This piece is going to outline the idea that impacted me the most at the workshop namely, the idea of optimum sleep.
Imagine the chaos that would follow if the difference in distance between the Earth and the Sun was to shift or if the percentages of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the air were to fluctuate. What would happen if the levels of sugar, cholestrol or different minerals like iron in the body were to excede or fall short of the limit? Needless to say, that would have detrimental consequences, manifest or latent, immediate or long term.
Just like other vital requirements that need to be met for the human body to function, sleep has a certain bar that needs to be met, and anything above or below that bar entails consequences. We often hear about the dangers of sleep deprivation, but on the opposite end of the spectrum, sleeping too much also appears to cause serious risks. Evidence has shown that spending an excess amount of time in bed is linked with health hazards such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Several trends have also emerged linking oversleeping with higher rates of mortality and disease. Experts typically recommend that adults should sleep between seven and nine hours each night but the exact requirement is individual and the product of a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Some people will feel fresh on a lesser number of hours than others.
Let’s cut to the chase. Optimum sleep is the optimum number of hours that an individual needs to sleep per day to cater to the body’s requirement of sleep. By cutting down on useless sleep you could become so time-rich and productive you may have to take up a new hobby.
For instance, if you adhere to your requirement of optimum sleep and manage to curtail 1.5 hours of useless sleep everday:
Total hours saved in a year: 365 x 1.5= 547.5
Essentially, if you work 8 hours a day you can add 68.4 work days to your life each year! (547.5/ 8 = 68.4 days) That is over two months every year.
Now do the math for the approximate number of years you could save in your life!
This article outlines ways to determine your optimum sleep: http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/need-sleep/what-can-you-do/assess-needs
Originally published at medium.com