A quick, informal survey of all my friends tells me that none of us are very good about sleeping well. I read an article recently about sleep and it would seem that teenagers need eight to nine hours of sleep per night, and that getting more than nine hours of sleep per night can be bad for you in the long run. Apparently, itís also healthier to sleep at the same time every day and to get up at the same time in the morning. Now, I donít know how realistic that is, but I think there is definitely a case for better sleep.
Rest Well and Perform Well
Iíve noticed that the days I get only six or seven hours of sleep at night, Iím a mess the next day. Sure I can fortify myself with gallons of coffee and Coke, but Iím hurting and it shows. Iím not as serious about school work and I canít play any sport to save my life. I tire out more easily when it comes to running or playing and often my brain just feels a bit fuzzy and mushy. Sure, thereís a second wind that comes after awhile, but thatís more like being sloppy and hyper than actually productive. Too little sleep makes me a mess when itís time to perform.
Sleep Longer and Sleep Better
For whatever scientific reason (read that as: I donít know if this is founded in science or not), when I sleep for a full night, I donít feel like I was interrupted in the middle of a dream. If Iím only sleeping a few hours, I feel like Iíve been dozing all night long and dreaming. When the alarm goes off, Iím disoriented and actually feel like I might still be in a dream for a while.
But when I sleep more than seven hours, my body seems to relax more while I sleep and I get a better sleep that night. Iím more knocked out and I wake up feeling like Iíve actually rested my whole being Ė body and soul Ė and thatís a very nice feeling, actually.
Sleeping for Better Health
I had a friend recently diagnosed with shingles. Granted this is a friend much older than me since shingles donít affect teens, but the primary reason he got shingles was because he didnít sleep well enough to give his body time to recover from his poor choices during the day. Shingles are painful and they come on when you have a suppressed immune system. That means you get shingles when youíre not being healthy.
My friend ate badly, had a lot of stress and barely slept. When you think about, sleeping is when your body is supposed to be healing and making changes to improve your health overall. If youíre barely sleeping, especially during a time that our bodies and minds are still growing dramatically, how can we expect to be in great health? Your body needs time to heal and grow Ė it needs sleep. I think my big resolution this spring
will be to sleep better hours, for more hours and to enjoy feeling good about myself.