I’ve always thought that I had some very effective genes that allowed me to survive on less sleep than the daily recommended dose of eight hours per day. When I had my first child 10 years ago I didn’t get much sleep but managed to cope with sleep deprivation much better than most mothers around me. That just reinforced my view that I didn’t need that much sleep. But last year I started to have trouble falling asleep and if I woke up in the middle of the night I just couldn’t go back to sleep. I experienced this problem 1-3 times per week and it sucked – I felt awful during the day. I felt both irritated and irritating.
It’s been much better this year, thanks to my anxiety medication, but I continue with the habit of sleeping 6 hours per day. I occasionally clock up 8 hours but not on a regular basis. But this is about to change!! I’ve committed to sleeping 8 hours each night this week. I want to see if I feel any different and if this has any impact on my life.
The challenge started last night and I slept from 10pm to 6am (hooray!), however, I was woken up twice by the dog who wanted to go outside and kept scratching the door. So, it was not uninterrupted sleep but it was a start. Also, I followed the recommendations of Dr Dan Siegel from this video I came across yesterday.
I was aware of the side effects of sleep deprivation but I hadn’t realised until watching this video that while we are sleeping the supportive cells in our body clean up the toxins that our neurons produce. If you don’t get from 7-9 hours of sleep per day the toxins just remain there. I also didn’t know that more than 95% of people need 7-9 hours of sleep per day. I thought it was much less.
So now, I’m turning off my devices earlier and putting my feet up for a few minutes and going to sleep. Sweet dreams.