Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything. Irish Proberb

The air is cooler as I walk this morning, but not quite cool enough to run back and get a sweater. Since I started getting up at 5:00 I think I’m sleeping better. If I get to bed at 10:00 sleep comes easily. When I get to bed a little later it seems harder to go to sleep.

Everywhere we go it seems people are complaining about not being able to sleep. Melatonin is the answer some say, others try it and say it doesn’t do much for them. I now find I am tired right around 10:00. If I stay up later I get a second wind and then it is harder to go to sleep.

Could part of the problem be that we don’t take the time to figure out our own bodies rhythm and work with it? Many of us choose bedtimes and wake up times based on our professional, family, and social lives. They tell us we have individual variations when it comes to what our best sleep hours are.  Can we figure out what our individual circadian rhythm is and work with it?

The optimal bedtime for most people is between 8:00 pm and 12:00 am.  We are told to keep our bedtime and wake time consistent. I find this difficult as it means not much social life on the weekend if I have to be in bed by 10:00. Being too rigid makes it more likely to just give up establishing a routine at all. It is the same with our eating and exercising routines. Life has to fit, and our routines have to be elastic enough to accommodate life, and routine enough to give our bodies what they need. Finding balance is what we need to focus on.

Sleep in an investment in the energy you need to be effective tomorrow. Tom Roth

Not getting enough sleep affects all areas of our health. A lack of sleep can lead to memory lapses, accidents, injuries, behavioral and mood problems. Inflammation is one of the problems lack of sleep exacerbates. Inflammation is linked to many of the most serious health conditions.

Getting enough sleep is not a small problem, nor one we should take lightly. It may not be possible for couples to keep the same bedtimes and rise times. My husband doesn’t appear to need near the amount of sleep I need.

Studies have shown that people who slept less didn’t wake up with high inflammation, but they had greater inflammation responses to conflict. According to the study if both partners got less than seven hours of sleep they were more likely to argue or become hostile. Lack of sleep and marital conflict appear to go hand in hand. Canada is listed as the third most sleep-deprived country and the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation found that 33 percent of men aged 30-49 were only getting four to six hours of sleep per night. Twenty percent of Canadians get between six and seven hours of sleep every night, and six percent consistently get less than six hours of sleep per night.

Is getting more sleep the best thing we can do for our marriage?

What we’ve only come to realize recently is that the brain is pretty far from resting during sleep… the brain is actively cleaning synapses and reinforcing important ones. So not getting enough sleep means you’re not doing your housekeeping. Unknown

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The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time Paperback – Apr 4 2017

by Arianna Huffington (Author) 3.9 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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