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How much sleep do you get?

By November 12, 2008 - 10:08am
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Do you get enough sleep?

It seems like nearly every health condition and every mental health condition benefits from the proper amount of sleep, and we hear about it frequently in news reports. And still, no one I know is regularly getting the right amount of sleep.

My college-age niece is doing what college students do: study, go out with friends, stay up until all hours and then head to class in the morning. My thirtysomething friends who are mothers are lucky if they get half a night's sleep regularly. And anyone who's in pre-menopause, menopause or beyond seems to look at a long night's sleep as something reserved for memories only.

Here's a story on what it does to our bodies when we don't get enough sleep:


I find personally that the more active I am during the day, the better I sleep at night. But I'm still not getting 8 hours of the deep, restorative sleep that doctors want us all to have.

Do you sleep well? Do you sleep enough?

Add a Comment2 Comments

Thanks for sharing the article! I guess I should know better, we all do, but why don't we DO IT!!! Well, I have noticed that due to my caregiver duties (caring from my hubby who has ALS)in the past 2 years and being in my late 40s I have depleted my body from the benefits of a good night sleep and a normal sleeping routine. I recently hired a night shift caregiver so I could get a restful sleep. I noticed that I wake up a lot throughout the night because my brain is on alert at all times thinking whether my husband who is on a vent now is breathing OK. I think the key to sleeping is to achieve the ideal stage of sleep to get the benefits of this human activity. Here is a great link to learn mroe about Sleep Stages http://www.sleepdisorderchannel.com/stages/index.shtml

My goal is to "dream" and get enough brain rest to stay functional. I also must break the bad habit is staying up past midnight. Melatonim production goes down if we do not use it. This hormone is produced by the brain as soon as the sun goes down (our bodies are so wise!) and it signals the brain that is is time to sleep. If we ignore it, then the production will drop. Supplements of melatonim will improve the quality of your sleep even if it is for 4 hours. I take 2mg every other night.

November 13, 2008 - 10:48pm

I think I am the only person who DOES get enough sleep, on most nights!

I actually have a theory about this, too. It's almost like someone asking you if you are "stressed". There is really only one "real" answer, because if you say "no" (and who does?), then it comes off as you being "better than" for some reason. Being "stressed" in this society is like a badge of honor. Same with sleep. It becomes an office competition who got less sleep and is still standing.

I am a 30-something with a toddler, and can actually say that I get 8 hours of sleep 4-5 days per week. Sometimes even 7 days per week, if there is no illness or teething going on! I go to bed at 11pm and wake up at 7am. Is that abnormal??! Not too late getting to bed, but not "early", either. I know some moms who get up at 6am with their kids...they could still get 7 hours of sleep if they got to bed "late" at 11pm! I guess, the hours just don't add up in my head (is "everyone" getting to sleep at 2am and up at 6am? I can't imagine that is true).

I understand the college lifestyle of staying up all night with friends or studying. But the rest of us...are people really getting up earlier than 6am? Are they really getting to bed later than midnight? Why? Are they on the computer or watching TV? Is their house meticulous and they are cleaning into the wee hours? Are they having meaningful conversations with their spouses/partners every night? Are they getting work done, that wasn't able to get done between 8-5pm?. I can't imagine the majority of our society has sleep disorders, such as insomnia, or other medical conditions (menopause, etc), which is why I'm asking the battery of questions.

Help me understand! Why do I seem to be in the minority of people, moms with toddlers at that, who actually sleep? (Don't get me wrong: for 3 months straight I slept 2-3 hours/night with an infant. When my son is sick, I'm lucky to get 5 hours of sleep. I've had my bad sleep moments).

To sound like a grumpy old man for a moment (sorry for the stereotype), and I am speaking to the MAJORITY of individuals out there, not the exceptions or individuals with special/extraordinary circumstances. I am also not referring to individuals with medical reasons (menopause, for example):
- are the kid(s) keeping you awake? if so, are they sleep deprived, too?
- is office work keeping you awake? if so, are you really that important that you are needed 80 hours every week?
- is house work keeping you awake? if so, do you have the most thoroughly cleansed house on the block, or do you not have enough help/support?
- are you spending oodles of time at the computer and/or TV? if so, stop and go to sleep!

My bottom line is: do we really have a sleep problem, or do we have a problem with people letting go of work, cleaning, TV-watching or other task?

November 13, 2008 - 2:49pm
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